Pointe-Claire’s city council meeting got heated Tuesday night as resident after resident asked Mayor John Belvedere about the future of the Pioneer.
“Does the city have have any plans to stop this project if enough citizens are opposed to it?” asked Pointe-Claire resident Tracy McBean.
The city has been tight-lipped about the project, refusing Global News’ repeated requests for interviews.
On Tuesday, the mayor told residents that the city is not in a position to save the Pioneer. Belvedere added that the building is not the same historical landmark it once was and that it would be expensive to restore.
“It’s great that everybody wants to save it and step up but it has been for sale. Why hasn’t somebody else bought it?” said Belvedere. “It’s been for sale for a long time. It hasn’t been a secret.”
Residents, however, insist that it should be up to the city to preserve historical sites, such as the Pioneer.
“The mayor attended a meeting of the heritage society, during the election campaign, during which he said very clearly that he’s not a condo guy and that he doesn’t think that condos are what Pointe-Claire is about,” said Andrew Noel Swidzinski, Pointe-Claire resident and member of the Pointe-Claire Historical Society.
Belvedere insists he hasn’t changed his views.
“I’m not a condo guy, but there is a demand for condos,” Belvedere said.
He said the plans Deakin Reality has released for the new building actually look more like the original structure than what’s there now.
The mayor insists the project has to go through a process.
The next step is for a demolition permit to be requested by the developer. A sign will go up on the site, and that will lead to public consultations and studies to determine if the building should be demolished.