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‘It’s a landmark’: Pointe-Claire residents vow to save the Pioneer

The Pioneer in Pointe-Claire on Monday, May 28, 2018.
The Pioneer in Pointe-Claire on Monday, May 28, 2018. Felicia Parrillo/Global News

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.

After hearing that the Pioneer could soon be sold and demolished, Pointe-Claire resident Matthew Trudel, 20, said he couldn’t just sit by and let it happen.

“I started a petition in hopes it would save the Pioneer,” Trudel said.

“It’s a historic building. It would be a real shame to see it go down.”

The petition, created Monday, has over 200 signatures and counting.

Trudel said he hopes it will start a movement.

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“I would present it to the city and say, ‘Look, there are people out there who want to save the building,'” he said.

“I’m hoping it will open their eyes and allow us to have a public consultation.”

On Monday, Global News learned that the Pioneer could be sold.

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

Though the sale has not been finalized, the potential new owner said he plans to build 15 condos, three townhouses, four commercial units and underground parking on the site.

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

The City of Pointe-Claire remained tight-lipped about the project.

In a statement to Global News, the city said both it and the promoter are currently in discussions, which are confidential.

Longtime Pointe-Claire resident Tracy McBean wants the city to involve its residents in those discussions.

“I’m beyond disappointed,” she said. “This is a government that I voted in and I truly feel that they have to take their citizens into consideration.”

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Though she acknowledges that the building may be an eyesore and does need some repairs, she insists it’s a part of Pointe-Claire’s history.

“If you just keep taking away history, what are we going to have left?” McBean said.

“I’m trying to think of ways we can save it. A GoFundMe campaign? Maybe calling up HGTV and seeing if they can help renovate a historical building?” she said.

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

Dorval resident Thomas Guevara says he will be on the front line of help.

“It was the first place that I went to for my 18th birthday with my dad and brother,” Guevara said.

“It was the beginning of becoming an adult — sort of like a rite of passage. I watched my first [music] show there and then, 10 years later, I got to play a show there. It was a dream come true.”

Guevara says there aren’t many places like the Pioneer left in the West Island, so it would be sad to see it go.

“The staff is always great, the food is outstanding, the architecture inside — you can’t find that anywhere anymore,” he said. “There’s just no other place like it.”

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The Pointe-Claire Historical Society, which is vowing to protect the building, told Global News it has a meeting with Pointe-Claire Mayor John Belvedere on Tuesday evening, where it hopes to get more information about the sale.