Update: The decision has been made to demolish the Pioneer Pub, but the condo project will not go ahead as-is.
More than 200 residents came to the Pointe-Claire Holiday Inn to find out the future of the Pointe-Claire Village’s Pioneer Bar.
The 117-year-old building had been on the market for 10 years but was sold to a developer who wants to build condos on the site.
“This is a historic village, one of the few left on the island of Montreal and we are replacing it with Laval-style condos that don’t belong there,” said Andrew Swidzinski from the Pointe-Claire Heritage Society.
The town’s demolition committee met Thursday night to decide whether to grant permission to tear down the building.
After a marathon six and half hour meeting, the committee decided allow the demolition, but the developer has to go back to the drawing board.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction that they’re going to change the design but I don’t think it should happen period,” said Pointe-Claire resident, Krysten Novinger.
WATCH: Pointe-Claire mayor peppered with questions over the Pioneer
Many residents worry that a condo project will ruin the historic feel of the neighbourhood.
“It is not just the Pioneer. It is the history of the village, the feel. If you take that away, then we lost it,” said Pointe-Claire resident Tracey McBean. “The village feel is what attracts tourists and business for the merchants.
Koebra development corporation president, Greg Koegl, says that he has revised his plans several times to ensure that the condo project will fit in the neighbourhood’s aesthetic.
“I think people will look at it and think the old Pioneer has been renovated. It will look similar,” Koegl told Global News at Thursday’s meeting.
An online petition against the demolition has received more than 3,000 signatures.
WATCH: Pointe-Claire Pioneer owner explains why she’s selling
Pointe-Claire Mayor John Belvedere also squashed rumours that the nearby Bourgeau park would be affected by the proposed condo project.
“From 2013, we were already planning to move things around, to make the parking spots closer to the merchants but there will be no loss of green space,” said Belvedere.
A decision is expected by end of day but as of late Thursday, residents were still at the Holiday Inn asking questions about the project.
Those opposed to the demolition committee’s decision have 30 days to appeal.
The demolition can’t take place until a new plan for the site is approved.
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