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Pointe-Claire residents want to name new park after pizzeria in former Walton strip mall

A new online petition is garnering support to name a park at the old Walton strip mall site after Athens Pizza. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports.

A new petition has cut another slice in the Walton strip mall saga in Pointe-Claire.

More than 250 Pointe-Claire residents have signed an online petition calling on the city to name a future green space after the former Athens Pizza restaurant.

Dimosthenis Papadimitrios, son of the Athens restaurant owner, started the petition.

He plans on gathering over 500 signatures, in hopes of convincing the city to name a section of the future housing development Athens Park.

READ MORE: Pointe-Claire community celebrates after city rejects housing project

Papadimitrios says the long-standing pizza joint in the strip mall on Walton Avenue was a staple in the community before closing down in 2016.

The land on which the strip mall stood was sold by the city to a developer for a new housing project.

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“For the community it was difficult — not only for the pizza but the memories it brought for them,” Papadimitrios said.

Like  paint on the storefronts, much of the memories of the cherished mall are fading.

READ MORE: Pointe-Claire rejects townhouse project on site of Walton mall

The strip mall on Walton avenue has been vacant since 2016.

Residents fought to save the cherished mall and keep a 20-unit townhouse project from being built. After years of pressure, and the dust settled the city approved a 12-unit housing development with a small park.

Papadimitrios says dubbing the park after the pizzeria will be an homage and mark the history of the street.

“It’s not just Athens restaurant. It’s basically for the whole strip mall,” he said. “It will serve as a reminder to the new people in the neighbourhood and the fight that occurred.”

With 44 years of history, many residents say they remember good times at the restaurant.

“It was the best place ever. We miss it,” Pointe-Claire resident Vicky Clifford said.

“If they want to make a park named Athens I think it’s a great idea.”

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Roberto Gomez Barron, who is new to the West Island community, says the name of Greek origin goes well with the street names in the area.

“It will fit with the theme of the area since that street is called Spartan Crescent,” he said.

The city says it is aware of the petition but refused to comment, saying the future of the green space has yet to be discussed.

Mondev, the company behind the housing project, says it is ready for demolition but has not set a date. The company hopes to have removed the vacant building before the end of the year with construction starting in the spring.

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