Stop Excessive Construction Noise

12th floor, West Tower, City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Attention: Marilyn Toft

RE: MM35.15 Stop Excessive Construction Noise – Getting the Province to Back Off From Overriding Toronto’s Noise Bylaw – By Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, seconded by Councillor Josh Matlow

Dear Mayor Tory and Members of City Council,

This correspondence is provided to indicate our strong support for Councillor Wong-Tam’s Motion that “City Council request the Government of Ontario to repeal Limitation 2 to Ontario Regulation 130/20 of the City of Toronto Act, returning the power to regulate construction noise to the City of Toronto”. Limitation 2 to Ontario Regulation 130/20, enacted April 7, 2020, does not allow the City to regulate or prohibit noise in connection with construction. The Regulation overrides the City of Toronto’s municipal noise by-law through to October 7, 2021, to the detriment of residents.

FoNTRA wrote to the Premier on April 19 2020 to request that this measure (as well as making residential construction an essential service, opening a significant risk of COVID-19 infection to workers) be reversed. Excessive noise is a health hazard that impacts the physical and mental health, and quality of life of residents. Toronto’s Noise By-law permits construction to operate Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and not at all on Sundays and statutory holidays. Allowing construction equipment to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week, including holidays, at a time when many more people are exposed as they are now at home is both inappropriate as a policy measure, and harmful to Toronto residents.

We have received numerous complaints from individuals and resident associations regarding this measure and concern that noise permissions continue to be open until October 2021, despite changes to other COVID related polices. The government’s decisions to reduce or open restrictions must be made on the basis of public health advice, and not on sectoral influence. We question whether this measure passes this test.

We support the City urging the Province to reverse this measure, and eliminate the override of the City of Toronto’s Noise By-Law.

Yours truly,

Geoff Kettel
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

Cathie Macdonald
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

c.c: Carleton Grant, Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards