EXCLUSIVE: Pointe-Claire’s iconic Pioneer may soon be sold, turned into condos

Will Pioneer in Pointe-Claire be turned into condominiums?
WATCH: The iconic Pioneer bar has been standing since the early 1900s in picturesque Pointe-Claire Village. In this exclusive report by Global's Felicia Parrillo, the building is currently in the process of being sold – and what may be built in its place has some residents concerned.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated. Deakin Realty told Global News it was not involved in the sale of the Pioneer, but it is excited to work with the developer on the future sale of the condominiums. A previous version of this stated that Deakin Realty was involved in the brokering of the deal to sell the Pioneer to the developer.

Pointe-Claire Village is known for its waterfront properties, cobble stone sidewalks and famous shops and restaurants.

Some say what makes the area so special is its historical buildings.

The Pioneer on Lakeshore Boulevard is one of those buildings.

READ MORE: Pointe-Claire proposes to change building code for historic village

“I used to go to the pioneer when I was young,” said Île-Perrot resident Rhonda Hamilton.

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“Then, they changed the name to Clyde’s then back to the Pioneer and it’s pretty amazing — it’s a landmark.”

The building has been around since the early 1900s.

A photo of Hotel Charlebois, before it was the Pioneer, in the early 1900s.
A photo of Hotel Charlebois, before it was the Pioneer, in the early 1900s. Diane Marois

It has taken on many incarnations, including a hotel.

In 1979, Ron Bracken bought it and turned it into the Pioneer. About 15 years ago, his wife took over. Recently, she sold the building.

READ MORE: Pointe-Claire Village revitalization project begins

Though she did confirm the sale to Global News, she did not want to speak on camera, saying the deal hasn’t yet been finalized.

The real estate group involved with the sales for the potential project on the site posted the news on its Facebook page, saying the land will be transformed into condos.

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“I’m totally against it,” said Pointe-Claire resident Rosina Armbruster.

“I’m totally against condos. It’s enough. They’re going to ruin the village look.”

In a statement to Global News, the City of Pointe-Claire remained tight-lipped about the project.

“The promoter is currently in discussions with the city. In accordance with the law, these discussions remain confidential at this stage,” it stated.

The Pointe-Claire Historical Society, whose mission is to preserve heritage buildings, said the Pioneer has heritage status and to demolish it would be a tragedy.

“We are very, very concerned about the possibility that the building can be demolished and we will do the action we need to protect it,” said Claude Arsenault.

The potential new owner of the land was not available for an interview, but told Global News the preliminary plan is to build 15 condos, three townhouses, four commercial units and underground parking.

He insisted residents in the area will benefit from the new project.