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Supervised consumption sites

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

The Gilbert Centre, the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit are applying to operate a supervised consumption site in Barrie. These three agencies are working on behalf of the harm reduction pillar of the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy (SMOS).

Applying for a SCS site in Barrie is just one example of the collaborative community work that is underway in the region to address opioid use and overdoses. See more community actions here

November 14, 2019Barrie Police Service response to Councillor Sergio Morales’ letter to the Barrie Police Services Board dated July 4, 2019

August 12, 2019

Barrie Council decides not to hire an outside consultant and supports SCS applicants continuing the search for an appropriate location and further community engagement, with the support of the advisory committee. 
August 9, 2019
SCS applicants establish a site selection advisory committee to conduct a fresh review of site locations in Barrie.
June 24, 2019
SCS applicants submit report on the potential sites that were considered for Barrie Council consideration. Barrie Council defers decision on 90 Mulcaster site proposal, votes to retain a consultant to review prospective sites.
June 4, 2019
Barrie City Council votes to defer site selection until next council meeting and requests further information.
May 27, 2019

City of Barrie staff prepare a report on the proposal for council's consideration.  

The SCS applicants provide a slide show for council's information with highlights of the proposed application.

Barrie City Council General Committee receives recommendation for 90 Mulcaster as supervised consumption services site.

May 15, 2019
Neighbourhood consultation was held to provide opportunities for residents to review site proposal and mitigation strategies for 90 Mulcaster, and share further feedback.
May 7, 2019
Evaluation of the public consultations for a SCS in Barrie is completed. A report summarizing the evaluation of the consultations was released (this version includes later updates). A shorter document containing highlights of the report  also available.
April 24, 2019
Site selection investigation concludes with announcement of recommendation for 90 Mulcaster Street.
January–March 2019
Public, stakeholder education and consultation period on proposal for an SCS in Barrie.

No, site selection is currently ongoing as per Barrie City Council’s request at their August 12 meeting. A SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee has recently formed to help guide the process for site selection and community consultation in Barrie.

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.

While 90 Mulcaster remains an option, the SCS Site Selection Advisory Committee will assist in identifying other appropriate sites for consideration, compare possible sites based on selection criteria and make a recommendation to the applicants for consideration.

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


  • Based on 2018 data, Barrie ranks second among large municipalities in Ontario for opioid overdose emergency department (ED) visit rates, behind St. Catharines.
  • 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


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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