Noise

Council/Toronto residents against Construction Noise
Update Aug 30 2020:
Many Toronto residents are suffering from excessive construction noise during COVID-19 as the Province overruled the City of Toronto Act for the control of construction noise. The new rules allow any construction site (even single residential) to work Mon to Sun from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.  An article from the Toronto Noise Coalition on this issue  https://wwwtorontonoisecoalition.ca/single-post/2020/04/16/Suffering-from-excessive-construction-noise-during-COVID-19.  City Council has submitted a request to the Provincial government to rescind Limitation 2 to Ontario Regulation 130/20 but they are now recessed until Sept 13, 2020.  In September we will be looking for public support in the form of sending letters or signing petitions to the Provincial government.

 

SAHRA has provided updates on this issue in previous eBlasts.  The City of Toronto Act was amended by the Province of Ontario [until October 2021] to allow for any “construction activity in the City between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.”  This represents a significant departure from the City’s by-laws, which permit noise from construction between 7 am to 7pm from Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm on Saturdays, and not at all on Sunday.  City Council approved Motions on June 30th to request the province to rescind Limitation 2 to Ontario Regulation 130/20.

It was a concerted effort between Councillors Matlow, Colle, Wong-Tam and Cressy supported by SAHRA, LPRO, FoNTRA, the Toronto Noise Coalition as well as 13 Residents’ Associations in the downtown area that resulted in this Motion being presented and approved. 

We have now been advised that the City Clerk has submitted the request to the Provincial government but they are now recessed until Sept 13, 2020.  We will continue to organize public support for this request, possibly in the form of a Petition. 

 

Provincial overriding of Toronto’s Noise By-law
Update (July 4, 2020) from Councillor Josh Matlow
Council Stands up for Toronto residents against Construction Noise
As part of the Provincial government’s emergency orders to address COVID-19, THE City of Toronto Act was amended [until October 2021] to allow for any “construction activity in the City between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.”  This represents a significant departure from the City’s by-laws, which permit noise from construction between 7 am to 7pm from Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm on Saturdays, and not at all on Sunday. I have heard from many of you that the constant noise during unreasonable hours has had a significant impact on your quality of life. That’s why I’m pleased to report that Council supported my motion to request the province to rescind Limitation 2 to Ontario Regulation 130/20 , enacted April 7, 2020, which took away the allowance of the City to regulate or prohibit noise in connection with construction to the detriment of our residents. It is now up to the Premier to do the right thing for Toronto residents.

SAHRA would like to mention that it was a concerted effort between Councillors Matlow, Colle, Wong-Tam and Cressy supported by SAHRA, LPRO, FoNTRA, the Toronto Noise Coalition as well as 13 Residents’ Associations in the downtown area that resulted in this Motion being presented and approved.   We are now followiong up with the City Clerk and the Councillors to ensure that the ‘request’ is duly submitted to the Province.

***********************************************************************

The Provincial Government decided to override the City of Toronto Act, to relax the construction provisions of the Construction Noise By-laws. The City’s noise by-law permits construction equipment to operate Monday to Friday 7 am to 7 pm, Saturdays 9 am to 7 pm, and not at all on Sundays and statutory holidays We could understand the government deciding to allow  construction equipment to operate at any time of the day or night for construction required for pandemic management such as the building of temporary hospital facilities until October, 2021. But the extension of construction to these hours was extended for ALL healthcare facilities, including those which have no connection to the fight against the pandemic.  Furthermore, we do not understand why the hours have been extended to 6 am through 10 pm every day, for non-healthcare facilities, and specifically to projects providing residential homes. SAHRA argued to the Premier of Ontario that the City’s noise by-law was enacted to protect the health of the public from excessive noise; that the by-law should be overridden only to deal with a greater health issue.  We therefore asked that they reconsider the construction hours for non-pandemic related construction. 

The Premier’s response was: “Extended construction hours will help ensure that important health care related construction projects, like expansion of hospitals, are completed during the outbreak. It will also help speed up the building of new facilities needed to provide health services in response to COVID-19. Only construction on health care projects can now continue 24 hours a day to get this absolutely essential infrastructure in place.  In addition, there are tens of thousands of residential units being built in Ontario this year. Those projects are critical to the thousands of families who need a roof over their heads. Extended construction hours will allow for smaller work crews, more distance between workers and staggered break times.”

FoNTRA submitted a request that the non-healthcare construction hours be adjusted to the Toronto Noise By-law hours (Monday to Friday 7 am to 7 pm, Saturdays 9 am to 7 pm, and not at all on Sundays and statutory holidays). 

Councillor Mike Colle also submitted a request on May 6, 2020 to Steve Clark (attached) asking that the Province re-instate the City’s Noise By-law #591 as it applies to residential construction.