Pointe-Claire's Pioneer Bar is saved from demolition — at least, for now

On Tuesday night, the municipality’s council rejected a proposal to build condos where the Pioneer stands — thus saving it, albeit temporarily, from demolition.

The developer has until March to submit a new proposal for the 117-year-old watering hole

The watering hole has been a meeting place for Pointe-Claire residents for the past 117 years. (Kate McKenna/CBC)

For now, the Pioneer Bar in Pointe-Claire will not be torn down.

On Tuesday night, the municipality's council rejected a proposal to build condos where the Pioneer stands — thus saving it, albeit temporarily, from demolition.

The bar, located in the Pointe-Claire village, was on the market for 10 years before it was purchased by a developer, hoping to build four businesses and 15 condos on the lot.

A demolition notice went up at the 117-year-old building over the summer.

But a large contingent of citizens opposed the demolition of the building. Heritage organizations maintain that the old building has historical value and complements the Pointe-Claire Village.

When Mayor John Belvedere announced that the council was rejecting the developer's proposal, the crowd at the municipal council meeting applauded.

"We didn't expect the council to answer our hopes as strongly as they did tonight," said Michel Forest, the president of the Pointe Claire historical society.

Building could still be demolished

Although council rejected the developer's proposal, there is still a chance the building could be torn down.

The demolition permit will stay valid until March.

The developer can submit another proposal — and if it fits the city's requirements, it could be approved.

Known as Le Pionnier in French, the bar is located at 286 Lakeshore Road in Pointe-Claire, near the Sainte-Anne Avenue intersection. (Navneet Pall/CBC)

Belvedere said the developer will have to reconsider the size of the project and how it fits into the existing environment, among other things.

"There's quite a bit of stuff that will have to be looked at," he said.

The owner of the building, Diane Marois, as well as the developer, declined to comment.

If the Pioneer building is still standing in March, the municipality will launch a public consultation to determine what to do with the building.

The Pointe Claire historical society will be involved in the consultation.