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Heritage groups urge Pointe-Claire not to issue demolition permit for the Pioneer

The Pioneer bar in Pointe-Claire in May 2018.
The Pioneer bar in Pointe-Claire in May 2018. Global News

Two Quebec heritage groups are asking the city of Pointe-Claire to think hard about its decision to demolish the Pioneer bar in Pointe-Claire.

The building is over 100 years old and was formerly known as the Pointe-Claire Hotel.

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

In a letter, addressed to the city of Pointe-Claire’s demolition committee, the president of the Quebec History Federation, Clément Locat, is urging the city “to protect its heritage by refusing to issue a demolition permit for the building.”

As for the proposed condo project planned to be built in its place, the federation says it doesn’t believe it belongs in the village.

“The building proposed to replace the Pointe-Claire hotel has a template and architectural features that disqualify it for this site that requires the greatest attention,” said Locat. “Decisions taken today will have permanent negative effects.”

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In addition to that, Amis et propriétaires de maisons anciennes du Québec, (AMPAQ), also wrote to the city of Pointe-Claire asking the demolition committee not to grant a demolition permit.

“As a gathering place for generations, it has acquired a valued, undeniable identity and it is now an important component of the city’s heritage,” says AMPAQ’s president, Louis Patenaude.

In May, Global News learned that the Pioneer had accepted an offer from a developer who planned on turning the building into condos.

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

The city had also sold the adjacent municipal parking lot to the developer as part of the deal.

On July 21, the Pioneer closed their doors for good and the city posted a demolition notice in front of the building.

Close to 4,000 people have signed a petition to save the Pioneer.

READ MORE: Pioneer owner says ‘memories are much more valuable’ than the building

Claude Arsenault, former president of the Pointe-Claire Historical Society, recently resigned over the demolition debacle.

He said he’s hoping citizens will come out in big numbers on Thursday, Aug. 9, at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Pointe-Claire for a public meeting concerning the demolition of the building.

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“This room holds 700 places; it will be important that we show up in great numbers to express loud and clear our opposition to this project, which could prove disastrous for our village,” he said.

READ MORE: Pointe-Claire mayor responds to residents about future of the Pioneer

In the past, Pointe-Claire Mayor John Belvedere has said that the Pioneer is not the same historical landmark it once was and that it would be too expensive to restore.