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Construction noise is officially getting louder in Toronto

They're not pretty, they're definitely not clean, and they're anything other than conducive to getting around the city— but at least they keep us up all night with their beeps and booms and and bangs!

Construction sites are a boon to people who hate quiet moments of peace in their homes. The rest of us think they're terrible, as evidenced by a soaring number of noise complaints since 2015.

As part of its larger noise bylaw review process, the City of Toronto hosted a public consultation on Tuesday night to learn how citizens are dealing with noise caused by construction, specifically.

Roughly 50 people showed up to express frustration over what seems to be a growing problem: "Unreasonable" loud sounds that permeate the walls of homes and businesses at all hours of the day and night.

There are bylaws in place that prohibit at least some of this noise between certain hours, but builders are able to apply for exemptions and it seems as though many (successfully) do.

The city granted a total of 102 construction noise exemptions in 2015, according to the Toronto Star. By the end of last year, that number had risen to 177.

That's a 60 per cent increase in just three years.

The city has also been receiving far more applications for construction-related noise exemptions during the same period of time, up to 248 in 2018 from just 132 in 2015.

What's interesting is that if a city councillor doesn't respond to construction company's noise exemption request within 14 days, the request is automatically approved under current regulations.

It's a loophole that many of those gathered at the noise bylaw consultation in Regent Park on Tuesday hope to see closed, especially in light of how many new construction sites continue to pop up in Toronto (both for private developments and the city's own infrastructure projects).

Recommended updates to the noise bylaw, influenced in part by public consultations such as the one held earlier this week, will be presented to City Council this spring.

Fingers crossed for everyone living anywhere in downtown Toronto right now.

Lead photo by

Grant D


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