Canada’s Best Places for Business 2016

Barrie, Ont.

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Population: 205,572
Annualized population growth (%) 1.30
Avg. household income ($): 91,565
Total value of building permits issued, most recent year ($): 198,400,000
Avg. office lease rate ($ psf/yr): 11.88
Corporate income tax rate (%): 26.5
City website:


Pop. within 1 hr commuting distance: 1,264,138
Adults who have completed apprenticeship, trades certificate or diploma (%): 8.7
Adults who have completed university degree (%): 16.90
Adults who have completed bachelor''s degree (%): 65.64
Unemployment rate, most recent month (%): 6.08


Avg. home price ($): 364,879
Avg. retail lease rate ($ psf/yr): 19.19
Avg. industrial lease rate ($psf/yr): 7.43
Avg. general lease rate ($psf/yr): 20.99
Peak electricity cost for businesses ($/kWh) N/A
Peak electricity cost for mid-size commercial business ($/kWh): 0.1030
Peak electricity cost for mid-size industrial business ($/kWh): 0.1210

Taxes & Regulation

Business license cost ($): $200 to $499
Avg. processing time for building permit, most recent calendar year: Less than 2 weeks
Non-residential property tax rate (% of assessed value): N/A
Commercial property tax rate (% of assessed value): 1.433126
Industrial property tax rate (% of assessed value): 1.516320
Small business income tax rate, if different (%): 15.0
Sales tax (%): 13
Special regulations or zoning: Barrie allows restaurants located downtown and in proximity to the waterfront to take advantage of the summer season by offering outdoor dining experiences. Restaurants can extend outdoor patios to the edge of the street, while pedestrian traffic flow and safety is maintained through the provision of temporary sidewalks. Downtown businesses can also take advantage of blade signs and awnings to improve storefront advertising and visibility to on-coming vehicular and pedestrian traffic


Largest employers: Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board; Georgian College; Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Leading industries: Retail; Construction
Value of capital projects >$5 million planned or under construction ($ million): 77,000,000
Special amenities: Barrie has 300 acres of parkland, along with golf courses, waterfront trails and downhill ski runs. It is also home to Georgian College.
Special economic development initiatives: Barrie has community improvement plans that offer financial incentives to encourage private investment in the neighbourhoods of downtown, Allandale and Georgian College.