The demolition of the former Pioneer bar, a mainstay in Pointe-Claire Village, is slated to begin in the coming days.
A letter to residents in the area was sent out by the city, advising them the building will be torn down.
“For safety reasons, temporary traffic interruptions are to be expected on the public domain according to the various stages of the work,” the letter states. “In all cases, appropriate signage will be installed to indicate detours for both pedestrians and motorists.”
The iconic old watering hole is coming down nearly one year after a Quebec Superior Court judge rejected a citizen-led coalition’s request for an injunction to save the structure.
The Heart of Pointe-Claire was hoping to stop a project to build condominiums on the site in the city’s village.
The Pioneer shuttered in 2018 and the building was officially sold in January 2019 to a developer, but plans for the structure and the site have been a source of debate among residents in the West Island city.
Tracy McBean of the Pointe-Claire Heritage Society told Global News that she wished the day hadn’t come to tear down the building.
“We’re not losing a bar. We’re losing a piece of history,” she said. “We are losing a piece of the community.”
The century building on Lakeshore Road was originally a hotel before it was transformed into a bar in 1979.
Timothy Thomas, a merchant in the village, said that he was unhappy to see the Pioneer go and that it shows the neighbourhood is changing.
“For hundreds of years, it was a social gathering place,” he said. “And we’re losing the main gathering place of the village. I think we’re all sad.”
The city says the demolition is expected to last about four weeks, after which the construction of a mixed-use commercial and residential building will begin.
Access to the area has been blocked off by a blue fence and workers can be seen preparing the site for work.
Construction is expected to be finished by next fall, according to the city.
— With files from Global News’ Brayden Jagger Haines and Gloria Henriquez