Tag Archives: Bear Creek Ridge

Local Focus - Barrie

Barrie – the gateway to cottage country open for business

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Barrie – the gateway to cottage country open for business

Barrie may be best known as the “gateway to cottage country,” but, borrowing from a recent initiative of a certain provincial politician, the city might just as well hang a sign out front saying “open for business.”

Indeed, the days of this city of 153,356 being little more than a popular tourist and getaway destination are long over.

Barrie is a thriving city in its own right. It has long moved on from a bedroom community for Toronto, about 100 kms south, to developing its own increasingly diversified economy, with a focus on education, healthcare, information technology and other sectors.

For example, Barrie hosts industry experts, executives, investors and entrepreneurs from across Ontario at the annual Manufacturing Innovation Summit. Presented by the Business Development Bank of Canada, the event strives to help manufacturers maintain competitiveness and maximize productivity.

Creative economy

Further illustrating a focus on economic development, the City has partnered with Sandbox Centre to make regional resources for innovation and entrepreneurship more accessible to local businesses. Opened in April, 2019, Sandbox Centre is the first private sector-led innovation hub in Ontario.

It is exactly these types of initiatives that make Barrie so appealing for real estate. Economic development means employment, jobs attract residents, and residents translate to housing demand.

The city’s ability to attract younger residents is influenced by its growing reputation as a place for families and young, active professionals. Recent GO Transit expansion has made it easier for professionals to live in Barrie, where it’s more affordable, and work in Toronto or somewhere along the way.

Aggregate home prices for the first quarter of 2020 were up 3.5 per cent, year-over-year, to $519,161 from $501,731, according to Royal LePage. For condominiums, prices were relatively flat, growing 0.9 per cent to $398,574 from $394,912.

While at first glance this might not seem like great news, but milder price growth can represent buying opportunities for Barrie’s resident profile – many of them young, first-time homebuyers.

Live, work and play

It’s not strictly business in Barrie, however. Tourism still plays an important role in the local economy, with the historic downtown and waterfront major attractions. The downtown area hosts numerous annual festivals and events such as The Barrie Waterfront Festival, Barrielicious, Winterfest, Jazz & Blues Festival, Promenade Days, and Ribfest and Craft Beer Show.

Barrie is also home to Kempenfest, one of the largest outdoor arts and crafts celebrations in Ontario.

During the winter months, people still flock to the area’s nearby hills – Horseshoe Resort, Mount St. Louis Moonstone, and a little further afoot, Blue Mountain.

Then, of course, there’s the hometown Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League, who play out of the Barrie Molson Centre downtown.

Location, location, location

Located in Simcoe County in the northern part of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, about 100 kms north of Toronto, 36 km to Orillia; population 153,356.

Key landmarks

• Centennial Park & Beach

• Georgian Theatre

• Heritage Park

• MacLaren Art Centre

• Sadlon Arena

• Waterfront Heritage Trail

Select housing developments

Bear Creek Ridge by Pratt Homes

Essa Towns by Centreville Homes

Lakeview Towns by Plazacomm

Mapleview Park by Fernbrook Homes

Mapleview Park by Tiffany Park Homes

The Landing at Little Lake by The Landing Development Company

Ventura South Barrie by Honeyfield Communities

Yonge & GO by Pratt Homes

Yonge & Mapleview by Great Gulf


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Pratt Homes: Live your best condo life

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Pratt Homes: Live your best condo life

Living the condo life has great benefits. You don’t cut the lawn, you don’t shovel the driveway, you don’t clean the gutters and certainly no outside window washing for you. You know what you do? You have extra time to spend with your family and friends, barbecuing on your balcony or just relaxing in your incredibly spacious suite. Not to mention when the lovely Ontario winter comes, you lock up your condo suite and head for fun in the sun.

Bear Creek Ridge, by Pratt Homes, is a brand new family neighborhood located in Southwest Barrie. Bear Creek Ridge will have freehold townhomes, detached homes and condominiums. There will be a brand-new home for every sized family. The streetscapes at Bear Creek Ridge will be designed with traditional, hybrid and modern elevations creating the most unique streetscapes Barrie has ever seen.

The condos at Bear Creek Ridge are perfect for a maintenance-free lifestyle. Suites ranging from bachelor/bachelorette, up to massive 1,464-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath masterpieces. Complete with secure underground parking and large balconies you can barbecue on. With only two buildings and 120 suites, it is the definition of quiet, quaint and content living.

Currently, Bear Creek Ridge has the lowest deposit structure in the province at $15,000 over 180 days, making your dream of homeownership a reality. This low deposit structure, however, is not here to stay and NOW is your chance to own at Bear Creek Ridge.

Bear Creek Ridge is 45 minutes from the GTA and right next door to Wasaga Beach, Collingwood and Muskoka. You will also be within walking, cycling or driving distance from an incredible number of amenities in the South end of Barrie to accommodate your lifestyle.

You stay connected when you move to Barrie.

Bear Creek Ridge

Located at 241 Essa Road, Barrie, the Sales Centre is open Monday to Thursday from 1 to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.; closed Friday.




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BUILDER PROFILE: Condos by Pratt Homes

Pratt Homes offers several condo options in the Barrie area

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Pratt Homes offers several condo options in the Barrie area

Living the condo life has great benefits. You don’t cut the lawn, you don’t shovel the driveway, you don’t clean the gutters and certainly no outside window washing for you. You know what you do? You have extra time to spend with your family and friends barbecuing on your balcony or just relaxing in your incredibly spacious suite. Not to mention when the lovely Ontario winter comes, you lock up your condo suite and head for fun in the sun.

Currently, Pratt Homes has condos available for sale in the following communities: Bistro 6 (South East Barrie), Bear Creek Ridge (South West Barrie) and Banting Square (South West of Barrie) – starting at only $330,990!

Banting Square

Pratt Homes has named this community Banting Square, paying tribute to the legacy of Sir Fredrick Banting, one of the co-founders of Insulin. To compliment the rich heritage of Alliston, the design of the buildings includes red brick, gable ends as well as architectural symmetry – all characteristics inspired by prominent buildings in Alliston.

Banting Square minimizes your amenities, which keeps your maintenance fees lower then at other condo communities. There is a great outdoor seating area where you, your family, friends or new neighbours can sit and have a coffee and a chat. At Banting Square, you don’t pay extra maintenance fees and you don’t worry. You just live the relaxing life you want.

Plan your exit strategy today at BantingSquare.ca

Bistro 6

Bistro 6 is a new urban condo community designed to bring together friends and family over the art of food. It’s culinary inspired condo living at its finest. It is the first community to be built in Hewitt’s Gate, the Gateway to Barrie.

What makes Bistro 6 culinary inspired? Bistro 6 is a six-building condo community; each building is named after the spices that Bistro 6 was inspired by: Fennel, Chili, Turmeric and Sumac.

Pratt Homes has also paired up with celebrity chef Randy Feltis, an award-winning restaurateur and Cityline co-host who has travelled the world in search of culinary expertise.

We all know that the kitchen is the most important room in the home, and with well over 20 years of experience, chef Randy Feltis knows the perfect layout. Chef Feltis worked directly with the Pratt Homes team, including the architect, design coordinator, design and colour director, sales director and owner to ensure each condo suite was designed with the perfect kitchen-centric approach.

Check out Bistro6Barrie.ca for more information.

Bear Creek Ridge

Bear Creek Ridge is a brand-new family neighbourhood in southwest Barrie. Bear Creek Ridge will have Freehold Town Homes, Detached Homes, and Condominiums. There will be a brand-new home for every sized family.

The Condos at Bear Creek Ridge have only 2 buildings and 120 suites, it is the definition of quiet, quaint and content living.

Bear Creek Ridge is 45 minutes from the GTA and right next door to Wasaga Beach, Collingwood and Muskoka. You will also be within walking, cycling or driving distance from an incredible number of amenities in the south end of Barrie to accommodate your lifestyle.

You stay connected when you move to Barrie. For more information, visit BearCreekRidge.ca


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Cover Story: Bear Creek Ridge

Cover Story: Bear Creek Ridge

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Cover Story: Bear Creek Ridge

Pratt Homes addresses pent-up demand for new freehold homes and condos in Barrie

It was a long time coming in Barrie, and Pratt Homes has addressed the pent-up demand for new freehold homes and condos by launching sales at Bear Creek Ridge in October 2017. This new family neighbourhood is located at the corner of Salem and Essa Roads, in the southwest section of Barrie.

Phase 1 freehold detached homes and towns are 90 per cent sold. Phase 1 condos have had a fantastic reception, and are approximately 40 per cent sold. The phase 2 release saw another large portion of homes snatched up buy purchasers. It’s safe to say, purchasers are very enthusiastic about the Barrie new home market.

Why buy in Barrie? The prices are substantially lower than the GTA, the deposit structure is substantially lower for the majority of builders in Ontario, the sizes of the homes are far greater for what you pay than anything south of Barrie, plus the lifestyle is incredible.

Towns start from the mid-$400,000s; detached from the low-$600,000s; and condos from the mid $200,000s. Compare that with GTA prices, and the value is incredible.

Pratt Homes offers deposit structures unlike anything you’ve seen in the GTA. For towns and condos, simply pay $1,000 on signing; $4,000 in 30 days; $5,000 in 60 days; $5,000 in 90 days; $5,000 in 120 days; and $5,000 in 150 days. For detached homes and classic towns, pay $5,000 on signing; $5,000 in 30 days; $10,000 in 60 days; $10,000 in 90 days; and $10,000 in 120 days.

Condominium bachelor/bachelorette suites range in size up to a 1,454-square-foot three-bedroom, two bath layout. Enjoy secure underground parking and balconies that enable barbecuing. Metro Towns (with garages) and Euro Towns (with European-style carports) are all three storeys, have two- and three-bedroom options with dens, private balconies, and are fully above ground. Fully detached homes range in size from 1,900 to 3,000 square feet.

This location is sensational. Residents will live around the corner from the Holly Recreation Centre, which has ice rinks, pools, gyms and a full schedule of activities. The community is also a 10-minute drive to the downtown core, where residents can enjoy an eclectic selection of restaurants and nightlife. Four swimmable beaches with walking trails along the waterfront beckon with opportunities to commune with nature. Plus, the GO station makes it convenient for commuters to get to their destinations from downtown.

Southwest Barrie is a mere 45 minutes to the Greater Toronto Area, and is a similar distance north to skiing at Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Muskoka’s cottage country, and the largest freshwater beach in the world at Wasaga Beach. In addition, avid golfers know the Barrie area for some of the best courses anywhere.

The new phase 3 release is early February 2018 and will include additional 29-foot detached homes, the more affordable Metro and Euro Town collection and the coveted and ever desirable Classic Towns with 9-foot ceilings, a garage and private backyards!

At Bear Creek Ridge, Pratt Homes is offering completely new designs featuring dynamic exteriors that range in style from traditional to modern, and even hybrid, for distinctive streetscapes. The Bear Creek Ridge Community will be unlike any other neighbourhood in Simcoe County.

Pratt Homes has been building fine new residential communities in Barrie for six generations, since 1890. Over the past few months, Pratt Homes developed and released its new brand evolution from “Barrie’s Largest Builder since 1890” to designing homes and neighbourhoods with the stages of family life cycles in mind, paying meticulous attention to beauty and functionality as well as ensuring they offer a home size for every stage of the family life cycle.

In addition, Pratt Homes offers Ontario’s first virtual reality Model Home tours inside the Bear Creek Ridge Office. The Virtual Reality experience gives you the opportunity to walk through and get a feeling for your new home instead of just seeing a blackline drawing.

The Bear Creek Sales Office will be opening Saturday, February 10th, 2018. Visit the Bear Creek Ridge Sales Office, located at 241 Essa Road, Unit 3 in Barrie, just off Highway 400. The Sales Office is open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and from noon to 5 p.m. weekends and holidays.

(705) 719-6669



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Editor's Choice: Pratt Homes

Cover Story: Editor’s Choice: Pratt Homes

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Cover Story: Editor’s Choice: Pratt Homes

The story behind the builder of Bear Creek Ridge in Barrie

Don Pratt is a Barrie boy, born and raised. Barrie is a thriving real estate market located 45 minutes north of Toronto. Much like the previous generations of his family, Don spent the majority of his life in construction in the Barrie area then passed the family building legacy on to his daughter Karen Pratt-Hansen and son-in-law Heljar Hansen.

Don recounts a grade school memory of being surrounded by peers as his teacher asked questions about career dreams. As the teacher went through the questions, Don didn’t raise his hand. The teacher asked him directly, “What do you want to do Don?” He simply responded “I want to build homes.”

The Pratt family has been building homes in Barrie since 1890 but Pratt Homes was founded by Don in the early 1970s. At the heart of the company is building attractive and affordable homes to help people achieve homeownership.

Heljar Hansen and Karen Pratt-Hansen with their children.
Heljar Hansen and Karen Pratt-Hansen with their children.

The Pratt family legacy began when Stephen Pratt emigrated from England in 1890 and constructed two houses in the Cundles Heights area of Barrie. Don was inspired by his family history and when he took over the family business in the mid 1970s, he evolved from building houses to creating communities.

Don and his wife Chris started Pratt Homes in their basement. They created a logo and began a new legacy and now Pratt Homes is the largest homebuilder in Barrie. To this day, Pratt Homes continues to be a family business that creates meaningful communities while supporting industries, families, charities and organizations.

Karen and Heljar sit in the boardroom at Pratt Homes’ Head Office. The entire office is meticulously designed including photography from Peter Lik in every room. There is a gorgeous reclaimed barn wood table; wood acquired from the Pratt family farm. As you enter the boardroom you’re greeted by a picture called “Sacred Sunrise” taken of Cayonlands National Park in Utah. The photograph commands your attention.

The pair are positioned beside each other prepared to recollect memories of the pinnacle moments that built the foundation for The Pratt Hansen Group.


Karen Pratt-Hansen has a proud demeanor when discussing her childhood in construction. “The family has always been in construction. It’s been my life. It’s what I know,” she says.

Karen remembers her mom as the chief cook and bottle washer who kept things on track.

“My mom was an integral part of Pratt Homes as well as teaching me about business,” says Karen. “She showed me how to dress professionally because a Pratt Homes representative must care about their presentation.”

When Karen and her brother were younger, they asked for a withdrawal from the bank of dad. The result was different than anticipated. “Mom and dad gathered up cleaning materials, put us in the car, stopped at one of our model homes and said they’d be back once it was clean.”

The Pratts had a family tradition: they children were first to view new model homes. They proudly they walked through the home their dad built, praised the gorgeous decorating their mom did and then played in the kids room.

Karen remembers her parents steering her towards the family business. “Even when I was thinking about practicing law, my parents encouraged me to be a real estate lawyer.”


Karen embarked upon a journey most students can only dream of and attended university in Australia, majoring in law. During her schooling Karen met her future husband, Heljar Hansen, a Norwegian descendant who obtained his Australian residency to get his MBA and minor in computer sciences.

Unfortunately, in early 2002 Heljar lost his mother and Heljar and Karen went to Norway for the funeral. “It was a very sad time for my family. We honoured and celebrated my mother’s life.” says Heljar.

While in Norway, Karen received a call from her parents sending their condolences and asking if they could stop in Barrie on their way back to Australia; Karen and Heljar agreed. It was during the stopover that Don and Chris Pratt announced that retirement was on the horizon and Karen, Heljar and Karen’s brother should be their successors.

“We were both thinking about living in Australia. Karen had applied for her residency and I already had mine. We weren’t considering moving to Barrie and running the business.” says Hansen.

“I loved living overseas but I missed my family,” Karen says. “I missed Barrie. It was my home.”

Karen wanted to put down roots where her family created a legacy. Karen and Heljar made the decision together; they would take the risk and return to Canada.


Heljar and Karen moved to Barrie in November, 2002. Heljar remembers it well — it snowed for five straight months. They returned home on Friday and Monday started at Pratt Homes. Don drove Heljar to the construction site and introduced him to the site superintendent. “Meet my son-in-law, teach him about building,” Don said. Judging by the look on the super’s face, Heljar was positive Don hadn’t informed him until that moment.

“When we came back from Australia, we were learning the business. Dad was still running things. The goal was to take over but we didn’t want the learning curve to be too much,” recalls Pratt- Hansen. Karen and Heljar wanted to ensure the ownership transition didn’t have a negative impact on the business.

“We jumped into the deep end of the pool,” Heljar continues. “We knew we could handle the challenge, we’re not afraid of hard work but to be honest, we felt overwhelmed.” The family worked together to make the transition as seamless as possible.”

Karen learned to manage the business while Heljar was learning construction. They then worked with the sales manager, learning the system that drives the entire machine.

“In the early years we did everything,” notes Karen. “During the week we were at head office, on the weekend at the sales office handing out brochures.”

“We even cleaned houses before predelivery inspections,” Heljar adds.

It took under two years for the Pratt-Hansens to transition ownership of the family business to the Pratt Hansen Group.


Karen and Heljar are leading Pratt Homes during exciting times. The company is designing a new product line, preparing to launch new communities and just released their new brand.

“The fact that the brand has evolved says something about the business because we’ve changed,” Heljar says.

Karen had a great attachment to the previous logo because her dad created it, but she has confidence. “The way the community has embraced our new direction has given me great comfort.”

Karen and Heljar are doing things the Pratt-Hansen way. “We love change. We love doing things new, different and better,” Karen says. “That has been a philosophy of ours but it was different when we evolved the brand. The logo was a foundation of what previous generations built before us.”

“But just because the logo changes doesn’t mean the foundation changes. We’re an innovative company that makes fresh new changes but we also believe in tradition,” Heljar adds.

The Pratt family legacy has become the Pratt-Hansen family legacy. Karen and Heljar hope their kids will continue the family business. Both kids attend community opening and closing events as well as clean homes before predelivery inspections. When it comes to the next generation of Pratt Homes, the preparation work is happening with mom and dad’s help.

“We can only hope. We’re not going to force them, but hopefully they’ve seen what we do and what we’ve done,” says Heljar. “We’ll support them in whatever they want to do but hopefully they want to build.”

Karen feels similarly. “I think, like us, they may go off in their own directions and pursue their own paths, but if, one day, they get a feeling in their gut and remember what it was like to be a part of what we’ve done, we hope they come home to the family business.”


Pratt Homes has just released for sale Bear Creek Ridge, a family neighbourhood in southwest Barrie. This release of freehold towns, freehold detached and condominiums — priced from the mid $200,000s — is the first look at Pratt Homes’ newly designed floorplans and exteriors. In Bear Creek Ridge, Pratt Homes has blended together traditional, modern and hybrid exterior designs creating Barrie’s most visually stunning community. So far, purchasers are thrilled to see the fresh new look and are quickly buying up the new homes.

Visit BearCreekRidge.ca for floor plans and prices.

Coming in 2018, Pratt Homes will be releasing an incredibly innovative community called Bistro 6, Culinary Inspired Condo Living. Bistro 6 will be located inside Pratt Homes’ newest neighbourhood, Hewitt’s Gate.


Go online to register and to find out more about all of Pratt Homes’ communities.



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Pratt Homes

Editor’s Choice: Pratt Homes

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Editor’s Choice: Pratt Homes

Bear Creek Ridge is a new family-oriented community in southwest Barrie

It’s been over two years since new freehold homes have been released for sale in Barrie and now Pratt Homes is making it happen. In October, Bear Creek Ridge will launch freehold towns, freehold detached homes and condominiums.

Pratt Homes has completely innovated their product line with brand new floorplan designs accompanied by a stunning collection of traditional, hybrid and modern exteriors that will create some of the most unique streetscapes Barrie has seen. With prices starting in the upper 300,000s, it will pay to leave the GTA for a life in Barrie.

This past summer, Pratt Homes released their new brand evolution. Previously touted as “Barrie’s Largest Builder Since 1890,” the company is now intent on a more family-based approach with their evolved image of “Welcome to the Family.”

“Over the past year, we’ve focused on designing our brand and product line to be more inclusive of new home purchasers at every stage of their family lifecycle,” said Todd Palmer, marketing director for Pratt Homes. “It’s tough buying a new home and we want people to feel like we’re really taking care of them.”

This past winter, Pratt Homes received some great recognition for satisfying homeowners by being nominated for a Tarion Customer Satisfaction Award.

The new family focus will come to fruition this fall when they release their upcoming new neighbourhood Bear Creek Ridge.

“We have condominiums, freehold townhomes and freehold detached homes ranging from 606 square feet right up to 3,000 square feet,” said sales director Cynthia Grassing. “We’re offering a new home to accommodate families of every size.”

Bear Creek Ridge is located in southwest Barrie at the corner of Salem Road and Essa Road. It’s conveniently located only a few minutes from Barrie’s south-end restaurants and shopping. It’s also right around the corner from the Holly Recreation Centre.

Bear Creek Ridge is a 10-minute drive from Barrie’s beautiful waterfront, the downtown core with Barrie nightlife, independent Restaurateurs, the GO Transit station and four swimmable beaches with walking trails.

Barrie is only a 45-minute trip north of the GTA up Highway 400, which puts you closer to the largest freshwater beach in the world, Wasaga Beach, the incredible skiing of Blue Mountain in Collingwood and at the front door of the Muskoka Cottage country. Plus Barrie is surrounded by some of the best golf courses and bike trails you’ll ever see.

Bear Creek Ridge

Go online and register today to get a sneak peek before the grand opening.



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