The saying ‘it takes a village’ was well represented at a Pointe-Claire council meeting on February 18th, when members of the council unanimously approved the purchase of a parcel of land in the Pointe-Claire Village. Located at the corner of Cartier Avenue and Lakeshore Road, it is where many visitors from all over the Montreal Island and beyond often arrive to do some shopping at many of the quaint stores (owned mostly by small, independent business), enjoy a coffee at one of the cafes or take advantage of the scenic lakeshore area and green spaces available to them. It was the ‘Village Charm’ that was at stake.
Members of the community and the Pointe Claire historical society who had voiced their concerns about the lot in question, owned by developer Groupe Quorum, were in attendance at the meeting. They feared its fate would have it turned into a condo/commercial development, alike to what happened with the Pioneer Bar and Restaurant. A deal with Quorom would have seen a five-storey building put up in that lot, but a new disposition put forth by the city capped the number of storeys in the village to three (albeit many still want it capped at two-storeys in order to keep the integrity and ‘charm’ of the popular village).
Mayor John Belvedere clearly listened to the concerns of his constituents, first changing the zoning of the area in January and then making a deal with Quorom, who they had been in negotiations with for more than a year – the city purchased the land from them at a cost of $3.75 million. The Mayor also explained why it took so long to come to the decision; they first ‘had to look at everything’, even at concerns over a potential lawsuit being filed by the developer – as the city had already been served with a lawyers letter from them when they changed the zoning of the area.
Taking it a step further, Mayor Belvedere’s said that his idea for the lot would see a multi-functional building with public washrooms and perhaps a new space for the village’s market. However, first the deal with Quorum has to be closed and then they want to take the proper time to come up with ‘a concrete plan’. “We want something special, to make it interesting for people to come down and realize that they’re in the village,” he stated, much to the delight of those who had serious concerns about the potential gentrification of the village.
Feature image: Scenic City of Pointe-Claire – Photo Ville de Pointe-Claire