Demolition begins on Pointe-Claire's iconic Pioneer Bar

After years of legal battles, the end finally began for the building that once was home to one of the West Island's most beloved businesses on Tuesday.

Piece by piece, Lakeshore Blvd.'s Pioneer Bar is coming down. Since the business shut down, residents have fought to prevent the 120-year-old building from being razed to the ground, even after the city approved plans to build a condo development on the site last year.

As the work started, some in the area said the area isn't just losing a structure, but part of its character.

"It's not a bar, everybody keeps saying it's a derelict bar, and it's not," said Tracy McBean of the Pointe-Claire Hertiage Preservation Society. "It's a piece of our heritage, a piece of our community that we're losing."

"The government of Quebec, everybody needs to step up and start preserving these places before there's nothing left."

Built in 1901, the building originally served as a hotel before transitioning to a bar and music venue. Ownership and names came and went until it shut for good in 2018. 

In October, 2019, a court upheld Pointe-Claire's decision to demolish the building.

A notice sent by the city and dated Monday said the demolition will be followed by construction “of a mixed-use commercial and residential building.” Demolition is expected to last four weeks while construction is scheduled to be completed in fall of 2021.

The notice also warned of temporary traffic interruptions in the area while the work goes on.  

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