• John Jantak

Pincourt arena will be demolished


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

After sitting vacant for almost 16 years when construction was first halted in 2003, the Pincourt arena on Fifth Avenue will finally be demolished said Mayor Yvan Cardinal.

After years of legal wrangling and uncertainty, Pincourt’s highly-anticipated and long-awaited arena will be demolished. The unexpected announcement was made by Mayor Yvan Cardinal during question period at the Tuesday evening council meeting on April 9.

The mayor was responding to a resident’s question regarding whether the arena project would still go ahead. Cardinal said the city carried out another study to determine if there was still interest among the populace for an arena. The study confirmed there’s still a need for an arena in the immediate area – except it won’t be refurbished in the current weather-worn building.

Brand new arena

Plans call for a brand new structure to be built directly across the street from the current building which will be a modern, state-of-the-facility featuring two ice surfaces that are necessary to make the project financially viable, said Cardinal.

The Commission scolaire des Trois-Lacs has already given the city their okay to have the new arena built on the grounds of École secondaire du Chêne-Bleu, and set aside land directly across the street from the former site.

Council will decide

Cardinal gave no indication as to when construction on the new arena would begin. He said council still has to decide whether they want to go ahead with the new project and that’s not currently known. “It’ll be their decision,” said Cardinal.

News of the eventual demolition comes almost 16 years after construction was stopped on the arena in 2003 because of a dispute between the city and developer at the time. The building has stood empty since then.

Failed attempts at arena revival

There were several tries to revive the original arena since 2003, but they all failed. The most notable attempt happened in 2014 when former Montreal Canadiens hockey player Jocelyn Thibault from Groupe Thibault and Associates became involved.

His attempts to breathe new life into the arena was hampered by legal challenges from former hockey player Alexander Burrows and his consortium who were trying to build their own sports complex in neighbouring Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot at the same time. Both the Quebec Superior Court and the Quebec Court of Appeal sided with Thibault, but in 2016, he decided not to proceed with the project.

Council still hasn’t made a decision either as to what will happen to the vacant land after the arena is demolished, said Cardinal. There’s a possibility the town will build more townhouses and condos. It could also include a combination of residential and commercial properties.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

The northbound stretch of Duhamel Avenue in Pincourt was converted in July, 2016 into a bicycle/pedestrian path complete with street markings, brightly coloured yellow concrete blocks and new road signage that prohibited motorists from accessing the multi-functional path.

Duhamel Road reconstruction

It’s official. The reconstruction of Duhamel Road will finally begin later this spring. “We’re redoing the aqueduct, the domestic sewers,” said Town Manager Michel Perrier. “We’re also adding storm sewers which didn’t exist at the time and adding curbs. It’s a major project the will also include the bike path/pedestrian walkway.”

The former two-way road was converted to one way as a pilot project in 2016 to allow pedestrians and cyclists dedicated space along the waterfront.

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