Pointe-Claire is not in a position to save the Pioneer Bar: Mayor John Belvedere

There was a large elephant in the Pointe Claire city council chambers Tuesday evening, as the public had its first chance to express concerns over recent reports that the old Pioneer Bar in the Point Claire village might soon be torn down to make way for condos.

Mayor John Belvedere addressed the issue at the beginning of meeting, saying the city is not in a position to save the Pioneer Bar.

He says the building, as it is in its current state, is not the historical landmark that it once was, and that it is simply too expensive to restore. And to the question of the public’s desire to preserve the building, Belvedere had this to say:

“The building has been for sale for 10 years. If the public wants to save the building so badly, how come nobody has bought and fixed it?”

Matthew Trudel started a petition to save the Pioneer that now has 3000 signatures. He wasn’t satisfied with the Mayors answers.

“You can fix anything. It takes a little bit of elbow grease and hard work, but you can fix anything, no matter the price,” he said. 
“I feel like if the community wants it enough, the city should take action on it.”

According to the city, no demolition permits have been issued, and they are still unaware if the sale has even been finalized.
Another controversial condo project that sparked fiery discussion on Tuesday night is a proposed 24-unit building on Walton Avenue, smack in the center of a quiet, residential district. The project has many in the community worried the city is moving too quickly.

“The citizens created this community,” said Patrick St-Louis, a resident of Pointe-Claire, “and right now they are pretty much powerless to make sure the city stays as it is.”

The Walton Avenue project would mean the closure of a local depanneur, one that many locals, including many seniors, rely on.

There are also concerns over a loss of green space, and more parking woes.