From The Gazette

Pointe-Claire

Former gas station site waits on urban plan

  • Gas station at the corner of Cartier and Highway 20 in Pointe-Claire on Dec.5.
    Gas station at the corner of Cartier and Highway 20 in Pointe-Claire on Dec.5.
    Photo credit: John Mahoney, The Gazette

It came down in two days but ended an era that lasted for the more than half a century.

The former Olco service station at Cartier Ave. and eastbound Highway 20 in Pointe-Claire is now a heap of rubble after an excavator tore the building down last week.

It was the last old gas station still standing on eastbound Highway 20 dating from the days the road was called the “2 & 20” and lights stopped traffic at Cartier Ave., Woodland Ave. and Morgan Rd. — although, it had ceased to pump gas and only offered car washes.

Now it is unclear what will become of the prime West Island property.

On Monday, Guy Barré, its owner, said he had the building torn down because he wants to attract redevelopment, more specifically a new, bigger, self-service gas station with a car wash and a dépanneur.

One after another, he said, the Esso at St. Charles Blvd., the Esso on the service road just before Dorval Circle, then the Olco off Morgan Rd. have closed.

“There is now no gas station (on eastbound Highway 20) from Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue to Dorval. There’s nothing,” he said. “The best thing would be a self-service Couche Tard.”

However, the property is zoned for commercial-office use and, he said, city officials have told him privately to forget about obtaining rezoning.

On Monday, Mayor Bill McMurchie said that is true but “there’s a little bit more to it than that.”

The mayor said the complication is that Pointe-Claire will only begin in 2013 a long-awaited process that will lay out what kind of development the city and its citizens want to see in Pointe-Claire Village.

Under the law governing the city’s new urban plan, which was passed in 2011, there are provisions for more specific redevelopment plans that would focus on specific areas within the municipality.

Under those provisions, McMurchie said, Pointe-Claire officials have identified the need to create micro-redevelopment plans for its commercial-industrial hub, Pointe-Claire Village and the civic centre area around city hall, in that order.

With the study on Pointe-Claire’s industrial-commercial hub nearing completion, Pointe-Claire Village is the next priority, he said.

A private consulting firm will be hired in 2013 to carry out a study on the village area bordered by Highway 20, Bord du Lac, Golf Ave. on the west and Cartier Ave. on the east. That study will then go to the city’s urban planning board, which in turn will make recommendations to city council.

“We just don’t want to build another building if it doesn’t fit the vision,” McMurchie said.

“That property marks the entrance to Pointe-Claire Village,” he said, adding: “Until we decide (exactly) what we want for the village, we will be very careful with building permits.”

As for what that means for the busy Cartier Ave. and Highway 20 corner, at the moment, Barré said, he could put up a three-storey building commercial-office building.

He said he could possibly get a tenant like “an M & M’s” meat shop on the ground floor, which may not be a bad idea. “There are a few possibilities,” he said.

However, he added, the only thing for sure right now is that he doesn’t agree with the city’s position.

“No one sees that part of Cartier Ave. as the entrance to the Village,” Barré said.

One comment

  1. By Bright Ideas

    The city should put a bicycle path on this lot so it won’t be used for crass commercial purposes. The lot is fairly square, so the bicycle path should be spiral shaped. It could be called “Bicycle Spiral To Infinity.” Or an expensive artist could be hired to paint the path for $300,000, and it could be called “Tax Dollar Spiral to Infinity.”

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