• John Jantak

Historic timeline of Pincourt’s efforts to build an arena


THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

After sitting abandoned since 2003, the Pincourt arena fell into disrepair and was often the target of vandals.

The news of a new arena venture among the four Île-Perrot municipalities – L’Île-Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-l’île-Perrot (NDIP), Pincourt and Terrasse-Vaudreuil – brings to a close Pincourt’s long saga of going it alone to build an arena. What follows is a timeline from The Journal’s archives that lists the major developments that took place beginning in 2003 up until the new arena announcement on January 23, 2020.

2003 - Work on the Pincourt arena stops in a dispute over financing between the town and the builder Cogerex. The contractor launches legal action against the town.

February 2012 – The arena is purchased by the town with the aim of completing the project.

June 2012 – The town requests proposals from interested private parties to finish the arena. Only one proposal is submitted which is accepted and approved by council.

September 2012 – The town announces the arena project will proceed based on the sole private proposal that was received.

November 2012 – Pincourt Mayor Yvan Cardinal announces cancellation of the revived arena project. Cardinal said the conditional arrangement made with private group was not in the town’s best interest.

December 2012 – Mayor Cardinal says residents will not have to shoulder any additional costs related to the arena project after it was revealed the town will have to find a way to come up with $1 million in order to comply with a Quebec Court of Appeal ruling. The total cost incurred is $6 million which includes all legal fees and interest dating back 10 years. In mid-October, the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld a Superior Court decision that ordered the town to pay about $3.2 million to the development firm Cogerex and the National Bank.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/VILLE DE NOTRE-DAME-DE-L'ÎLE PERROT

January 2013 – A group of private investors announce their plans to build the Alexandre Burrows Sports Complex – named after the former Vancouver Canucks right winger – in neighbouring Notre-Dame-de-l’île Perrot (NDIP). Pincourt says it will go ahead with plans to resurrect its own arena project.

February 2013 – Pincourt fields inquiries from parties interested in reviving the arena project.

March 2013 – Pincourt residents complain to council about the slow progress in moving forward with the project.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

The completion of the arena took another step forward after representatives from Groupe Thibault, Rhéaume and Associates signed a 100-year lease agreement with Mayor Yvan Cardinal and other municipal officials in 2013.

June 2013 – The town holds a press conference to announce that former Montreal Canadiens hockey player Jocelyn Thibault and a consortium – Groupe Thibault Rhéaume et Associés – will proceed with plans to resurrect the arena and turn it into a sports complex.

July 2013 – Groupe Burrows announce their plans to proceed with construction of their new sports complex in NDIP. It is tentatively scheduled to open by September 2014.

October 2013 - Groupe Thibault, Rhéaume and Associates sign a 100-year lease agreement with Mayor Yvan Cardinal and other Pincourt officials. The land lease agreement which gives the consortium the right to own and operate the sports centre and a portion of land surrounding the structure for the length of time stipulated. The town will reassume ownership at the end of the lease.

October 2013 – Yvan Cardinal, then running for another term as mayor, said a Quebec Court of Appeal ruling ordering the town of Pincourt to pay over $3 million to the developer, subcontractors and bank involved in the original arena project, will not affect the current project.

November 2013 - Court of Appeal arena decision dominates Pincourt council meeting question period. Residents raise concerns about the potential financial impact for homeowners.

February 2014 – Pincourt announces it will sell the arena lot to Groupe Thibault Rhéaume et Associés for $339,000 plus tax instead of leasing the land to the sports organization as originally planned.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

Jocelyn Thibault, President of the Société d’exploitation Sports Sherbrooke (centre), gets ready to drop the puck to stick handlers Mayor Yvan Cardinal and Commission scolaire des Trois-Lacs President Diane Schetagne at a press conference to announce the start of construction to complete the long-awaited Pincourt Sports Complex in 2014.

February 2014 – Construction work to complete Pincourt’s long-awaited sports complex finally begins after representatives from the town, Groupe Thibault Rhéaume et Associés and the Commission scolaire de Trois-Lacs, jointly announced their intentions to have the facility operational by September.

February 2014 – Groupe Burrows launches legal action in Quebec Superior Court against Groupe Thibault Rhéaume et Associés. Construction work stops.

June 2014 – Quebec Superior Court rules in favour of the Groupe Thibault Rhéaume et Associés. Construction is set to resume.

July 2014 – Groupe Burrows launches an appeal against the Quebec Superior Court ruling in favour of Groupe Thibault Rhéaume et Associés. Construction is halted again.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

Work is put on hold once again in 2015.

September 2015 – Quebec Court of Appeal rules in favour of Groupe Thibault Rhéaume et Associés. Groupe Burrows eventually abandons their plans to build a sports complex in NDIP.

November 2015 – Mayor Cardinal announces Groupe Thibault and Associates will complete the sports complex. Construction is expected to resume and scheduled to be completed by the start of the 2016-17 hockey season. The consortium eventually decides not to proceed with the project.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

At this point, the unfinished facility had been plagued with various legal problems for almost 15 years when construction was first halted in 2003.

December 2017 – Pincourt agrees to buy back the arena building from Groupe Thibault Rhéaume et Associés. The arena revival project is officially dead.

October 2018 – Pincourt announces it is considering building a new arena directly across the street from the original abandoned structure on Pincourt Boulevard. It will located next to École secondaire du Chêne-Bleu.

April 2019 – Mayor Cardinal announces Pincourt’s highly-anticipated and long-awaited original arena will be demolished.

January 2020 – The cities of L’Île-Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-l’île-Perrot, Pincourt and Terrasse-Vaudreuil join forces to apply for grants from the federal and provincial governments to build a new two-rink arena located next to École secondaire du Chêne-Bleu.

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