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  • Writer's pictureBDAR

BDAR’s Inaugural Breaking Ground Conference Provided Members with Expertise in Land Development

(from left to right) Panel members, David Parks, Brennan Kenny and Michelle Banfield, and Panel 2 moderator, Sean Morrison.

It was a full house on February 13 at BDAR as leaders in our communities shared their expertise about the direction of growth in our region at the Association’s Breaking Ground: Land Use Development in our Region conference.

“We decided to hold this conference in direct response to member requests for an event of this nature,” said Tania Artenosi, 2019 BDAR President. “Members were asking for information on regional growth, planned developments, and for insight into how planning policies and procedures work. So, we reached out to our partners within the community, and they responded with enthusiasm. We were able to bring together key players in economic development from across the region BDAR serves, as the surrounding area, to discuss planning, growth, and intensification to keep you, our members, at the forefront of this topic so you can provide your clients with inside knowledge of how our region is growing.”

Tim Hudak, OREA CEO

Tim Hudak, OREA CEO, kicked off the event to over 100 attendees with his keynote address. He noted that OREA and the Ontario Realtor Party (ORP) supported this conference through their Mobailization Action Grant, which BDAR was the first association in Ontario to apply for.

During his address, Hudak discussed housing issues such as supply and accessibility, and the importance of communities having growth plans. He said that "a big part of Breaking Ground is looking at how are you going to deal with growth issues, and growth issues are good issues to have.” He noted that the government can and should encourage municipalities to think about growth plans and encouraging the development of a larger housing supply.

Panel One, moderated by Hudak, explored the growth in Barrie and Innisfil. Barrie’s Andrea Bourrie, Director of Planning and Building Services, and Innisfil’s Brennan Kenny, Economic Development Champion, outlined their development plans for BDAR members.

Panel Two, moderated by Sean Morrison, OREA Governance Chair, got into the nitty gritty of planning and policies for BDAR members. This was designed to help Realtors® can work most effectively as they move through this on behalf of their clients. On this panel, Innisfil’s Kenny joined the County of Simcoe’s Director of Developing Growth Areas, David Parks, and the City of Barrie’s Manager of Growth and Development, Michelle Banfield, to discuss planning procedures in their organizations.

150+ BDAR Members gathered for Breaking Ground

Panel Three, moderated by Steve Kotan, OREA Director, saw the economic development leads from Oro-Medonte and Essa along with Parks from the County of Simcoe as they discussed where their growth areas are and how they are developing. These townships are “up and coming” areas in Ontario where we expect large amounts of growth to occur.

The last panel of the day, moderated by Mike Douglas, OREA Director, brought together key players in some very large developments happening in our region. The YMCA’s Brian Shelly, Vice President, YMCA Simcoe-Muskoka, talked about their move to a new, modern and central location in Barrie. The RVH’s Vice President of Strategic Communication, Suzanne Legue, spoke about their search for a second location in Innisfil. The City of Barrie’s Manager of Facility Planning and Development talked about the new Emergency Campus being built. These speakers provided an update designed to help Realtors® promote the area to businesses and residents.

Click here for event gallery.


Experience BDAR's Breaking Ground Conference in the event highlight reel below:


Experience BDAR's Breaking Ground Conference in the event summary footage below:

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