Noise petition aims to cut construction back to previous hours

Two city councillors have launched a petition to reduce the hours construction noise is allowed in Toronto.

The petition is to protest the provincial government extending the permitted hours of construction in the city to 16 hours per day, seven days a week.

The hours used to be 7 a.m to 7 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays.

But in spring 2020 the Ontario government adjusted the City of Toronto Act to allow construction from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week, according to a statement on Toronto-St. Paul’s councillor Josh Matlow’s and Toronto Centre councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam’s websites, which host the petition.

Story continues after ad

“Doug Ford’s provincial government used COVID-19 to extend construction hours for his developer friends under the guise of building new hospitals,” the statement says. “While no new hospitals were built in Ontario, many Toronto residents have suffered as a result of excessive noise day and night, seven days a week, from luxury condo developments.”

It calls the move an “unconscionable decision during a time when the Ford government was asking people to do their part to stop the spread of COVID by staying home.”

In June 2020 city council passed a motion by Toronto-St. Paul’s councillor Matlow and Eglinton-Lawrence councillor Mike Colle asking the province to repeal its extension of the hours. And in July last year, 12 Toronto MPPs signed a letter to Ford asking him to give the city back the power to limit construction noise. But they appeared to have little effect.

Community support

Matlow and Wong-Tam’s petition has drawn support from residents’ groups that have long been concerned about excessive noise.

“As you know, our neighbourhood is being overwhelmed by construction, its noise and attendant disruption to our lives and well-being,” according to the website of the Republic Residents’ Association in the Yonge-Eglinton area where highrise building is under way. “A major issue is the noise produced by the many construction sites in various building phases.”

The group urges residents to sign the petition.

The councillors say they are presenting the petition to the provincial government demanding it change the hours back to what they were before the act was revised.