City of Toronto Noise Bylaw

The City is about to change the Noise Bylaw — and not in our favour. It proposes to allow noise inside our homes from an outside source (amplified music, construction, clubs , etc.) at 85 dBA from 7 am to 11 pm. That is equal to a snow blower running all day in your home. (New York City’s dBA limit for homes is 42 dBA.) 

To make matters worse, residents can only contest excessive noise by having an inspector from Municipal Licences and Standards (MLS) visit their homes to measure the sound levels. The MLS’s few noise inspectors failed to monitor outdoor noise levels in the past, so how could this new system work for us?

York Quay Neighbourhood Association (YQNA) studied the proposed changes and strongly objects. On the  Waterfront, we have more than a dozen outdoor concert venues with hundreds of live music events a year.  We also have party boats on the lake with amplified music, and airplanes overhead from the island airport. The proposed bylaw changes give free rein to the music industry and may be tied to the new Music Office’s goal to make Toronto a “Music City”. 

Many downtown areas share our problems, mostly from amplified sound and construction noise. We urge you strongly to speak for your residents. Insist on keeping the old bylaw, which protects residents from being disturbed in their own homes at all hours, and allows them to present evidence of disturbance. Once this general prohibition is gone, your health and privacy could be on the line. Provincial legislation limits the noise at point of reception — such as your home — to 50 dBA. The City now asks us to live with 85 dBA, which is 12 times the 50 dBA on a calibrated scale!

You have until Feb. 15, 2016 to add your voice. Here are the City documents:
htttp://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-87299.pdf 

Feel free to use this content in your protest:

  • We, (Neighbourhood association or other civic group) strongly protest the proposed changes to the City Noise Bylaw. We request that the General Prohibition (591-1), which protects residents from being disturbed in their own homes at all hours, and allows them to present evidence of disturbance, remain unchanged. 
  • No multiple noise exemptions can be granted to concert venues, but must be granted one by one and be approved by the local city councillor.

Send your email or letter to:
Jessica Walters
Jwalter2@toronto.ca 
Senior Policy and Research Officer
Municipal Licensing and Standards
City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, West Tower, 16th Floor
Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2

Please share this information with others.

You can speak to this issue at the next public meeting by Municipal Licensing and Standards on February 17th, 2016 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at City Hall, 2nd Floor, Committee Room 1

This message was prepared by Ulla Colgrass
York Quay Neighbourhood Association
Planning Committee
www.YQNA.ca 
416 867-6200