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Supervised consumption sites

Evaluation of the public consultations for a supervised consumption site in Barrie has been compiled into a report. The report's highlights are reviewed in one document. The full report is also available.

The Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy recently complied report outlining work accomplished through the first year of the partnership's existence. The SMOS Action Plan 2018 Status Update is posted in the website.

About supervised consumption

Supervised consumption sites (SCS) help save lives and create safer communities. They provide a safe and clean space for people to use their own drugs under the care of nursing staff. They can connect clients to doctors, treatment and other health and social services.

The Gilbert Centre is applying to operate a supervised consumption site in Barrie, with the support of the Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe Branch and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for the application process. These three agencies are working on behalf of the harm reduction pillar of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS). During the first quarter of 2019, these agencies consulted with Barrie community members and key stakeholders to get feedback on a supervised consumption site. This feedback will be addressed in the SCS application for Barrie.

Updates as the consultation process progresses will appear in the Updates To Consultation bar below.

SMOS is a community collaborative aimed at reducing opioid harms in Simcoe and Muskoka. In 2017-2018, SMOS developed and began implementing an Action Plan focused on prevention, treatment/clinical practice, harm reduction, enforcement, and emergency management. 

Still have questions? Review info in the Q&A .

SCS help save lives and create safer communities. SCS are part of a harm reduction approach that aims to provide:

  • Overdose prevention (naloxone, oxygen)
  • Harm reduction supplies including needles and other safer drug use equipment
  • Client education
  • Connection to a variety of services including: addictions treatment, health care, mental health, housing and/or social supports

The benefits of supervised consumption sites include:

  • Reduced rates of overdose deaths and hospital visits
  • Reduced public drug use and needles discarded in the community
  • Increased access to other services including access to treatment when people are ready
  • Reduced spread of blood borne infections like HIV and hepatitis C
  • Reduced stigma related to substance use
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Barrie ranks third among large municipalities in Ontario for opioid overdose emergency department (ED) visit rates, behind Brantford and Oshawa.
  • In 2017 there were 81 opioid-related deaths in Simcoe Muskoka, with 36 of those deaths in Barrie.
  • The central north area of Barrie (which includes downtown) had 10 times the rate of opioid overdose ED visits in 2017 than the provincial average, and four times the overall Barrie average. This includes 34 visits among those identifying themselves as homeless
  • More local statistics can be found via the Simcoe Muskoka HealthStats website


Yes. In April a selection committee chose 90 Mulcaster Street as the proposed SCS location. The search for prospective locations was carried out by a committee with representatives from the Gilbert Centre, CMHA, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and other partners from the harm reduction pillar of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS). A number of factors were considered, including provincial guidelines, best practices for locating supervised consumption sites, proximity to sensitive land uses (i.e. schools, parks, and licensed child care centres), and preliminary results of the recent Barrie SCS community consultations.

The option of 90 Mulcaster is an excellent fit for this service. Being located with CMHA connects it to the important mental health and addiction treatment services provided there, and it’s next door to the David Busby Centre, which provides outreach and support services for individuals and families within the County of Simcoe who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

Next steps will involve a neighbourhood information meeting. The meeting will be held in May for local residents and businesses of the surrounding area. Neighbours will receive more information about this meeting in the coming weeks.

In 2017 the Harm Reduction Pillar of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS), agreed to explore an application to Health Canada for a Safe Consumption Site as part of a comprehensive strategy to address the current opioid crisis.

The Gilbert Centre is leading this work on behalf of SMOS with support from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe County (CMHA). A key component of the application process is community consultations, specifically in the Barrie community.

Our organizations began these consultations in early 2019 and will provide people who use drugs, health and social service providers, outreach service providers, police, fire, paramedics, City of Barrie Council and municipal staff, businesses and the general public in Barrie with an opportunity to share thoughts and perspectives on a supervised consumption site (SCS) in Barrie.

With the consultation process complete, the application for a supervised consumption site will now proceed to Barrie City Council.

City staff have prepared a report on the proposal for council's consideration.

City General Committee heard the application at its May 23 meeting. A decision was deferred until June 24, when council will be able to review more details on the site selection process.

Update May 6

Evaluation of the public consultations for a supervised consumption site in Barrie have been completed. A report summarizing the evaluation of the consultations was released on May 7.  A shorter document containing highlights of the report was also made available. The report commits to strategies that will address concerns raised by the public over the proposal for a site in Barrie. 

Update April 24

Public consultations, involving stakeholder interviews and surveys for the public and people who use drugs finished on March 25. An open house was held on March 20 to allow residents and business owners the opportunity to learn about the services and operation of a supervised consumption site, and share feedback.

In early April a selection committee recommended use of 90 Mulcaster Street in Barrie for an SCS.    

In the coming months:

  • A report providing results of the consultations will be released in early May.
  • A neighbourhood information meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. for local residents and businesses of the surrounding area. See "How can I have my say" below.

  • Details of the SCS application for Barrie including site selection will be presented to Barrie City General Committee on May 27. Council will vote on endorsement on June 3.
  • Following that, an application for exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act will be sent to the federal government, and then the application will be sent to the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.


The Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy recently completed a report covering the work of the strategy's first year of operation. Read the SMOS Action Plan 2018 Status Update.

  • People who use drugs are real people (video series)
  • Infographic by Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on SCS
  • Opioid data (ED, deaths, +/- other)
  • Map for Barrie ED visits
  • For more information on opioids or supervised consumption sites call Health Connection 705-721-7520 or toll-free 1-877-721-7520.
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