Pointe-Claire, Que., treehouse’s future up in the air

Click to play video: 'Petition to save Pointe-Claire treehouse built on city and airport-owned land' Petition to save Pointe-Claire treehouse built on city and airport-owned land
What was once a backyard treehouse built to entertain neighbourhood kids has suddenly become a lightning rod of controversy. The conflict over the structure has become so entwined it's now part of a much larger dispute involving city officials, Hydro-Quebec and even airport authorities Global’s Tim Sargeant reports – Jan 18, 2022

Peter Ducree is getting a lot more public attention that he had envisioned.

The Pointe-Claire home owner built a treehouse in his backyard for the enjoyment of neighbourhood children but he never realized the structure would become so controversial with the city.

After finishing the treehouse last November, Ducree received a letter from the City of Pointe-Claire claiming he never had permission to build it because the treehouse is mostly on city property. He was ordered to dismantle the structure.

Ducree contests Pointe-Claire’s claim, arguing the treehouse is mostly on land owned by the Aéroports de Montréal and not public property owned by the city.

“They’re doing the best they can to make sure this is going to be taken down and not constructed. And (it’s) devastating to the community, to all the parents that are fighting to help to try and support this,” Ducree told Global News.

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READ MORE: Pointe-Claire, Que. treehouse generates controversy as city claims structure is on public land

There is an online petition with more than 500 signatures supporting Ducree and save the treehouse at its current location.

Adding to the controversy are hydroelectric lines above the treehouse. Hydro-Québec is now investigating whether the lines pose a safety threat to people playing in the treehouse.

”We will do whatever Hydro says. This is entirely Hydro’s initiative, we did not alert them, we did not invite them,” Tim Thomas, Pointe-Claire Mayor, told Global News.

Thomas is not opposed to the treehouse, but he says it would be preferable if it were dismantled and relocated on private property of a home owner, including Ducree’s.

”I think in the best interest of everybody, the treehouse would be relocated; not demolished,” Thomas said.

Ducree is hoping a mutual decision can be reached that will allow the treehouse to stay at its current location.

”There must be a better way of solving this rather than being more confrontational,” he said.

But if Hydro-Québec decides that the lines pose a safety threat then the treehouse will likely have to be dismantled.

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