Update (August 13): A few weeks after closing, a Pointe-Claire city committee approved the demolition of the historic building — sort of. Per CTV, the demolition committee agreed that the bar can be torn down after a tense six hour meeting, but apparently baulked at the plan to replace it with luxury condominiums from developer Gregory Koegl. That means any demolition can’t go ahead until a project to replace the Pioneer is approved — the developer hasn’t publicly announced any new or revised plans for the site. In the meantime, locals have a 30-day period in which they can appeal the demolition approval.
Longtime Pointe-Claire bar the Pioneer (Le Pionnier) closed for good over the weekend, with the barn-like building to be demolished to make way for new condominiums on Lakeshore Boulevard.
Since news of the development broke in May, there has been outcry over the plan to wipe the bar from the map, with various community members and Pointe-Claire’s historical society arguing that a new condo development does not fit with the character of the West Island suburb’s waterfront strip.
According to CTV, a petition to save the bar drew around 3,500 signatures, but the Gazette reported that all the attention drawn by the condo project had not actually translated into better sales for the bar. Owner Diane Marois also pointed out to the newspaper that the building is not in great condition. Marois said she was simply looking to retire, since her heard had not been in operating the bar, particularly since her husband died in an accident on the premises in 2013.
The bar closed Saturday night, but there is still hope for the building, with developer Deakin Realty yet to obtain a demolition permit, although a heading is scheduled for early August.
The Pioneer has operated in various iterations since 1901 (when it was the Hotel Charlebois) — one local resident told the Gazette that he had put in a conditional offer to buy the building, but Pointe-Claire mayor John Belvedere said that nobody had stepped in to buy it.
- Pointe-Claire’s beloved Pioneer Bar slated for demolition [CTV]
- Pointe-Claire Village bar The Pioneer to shut its doors Saturday [CTV]
- Beloved Pointe-Claire Bar Likely to Be Sold to Make Way for Condos [EMTL]
- The Pioneer: Pointe-Claire Village bar owner tells her side of the story [Montreal Gazette]