TORONTO — The NDP MPP for University-Rosedale, Jessica Bell, will table a motion in the legislature to restore authority to municipalities to set their own construction noise bylaws.
Bell is responding to frequent complaints from Toronto residents about construction noise early in the morning and late at night, impacting their sleep and their mental health. Premier Doug Ford took away municipalities' authority to set construction noise bylaws under the guise of COVID-19 emergency orders. Construction related to the health care sector is an exception in Bell’s motion.
"For months, I have heard from residents bothered by construction noise morning and night — some experiencing sleeplessness and mental health challenges — because Doug Ford overrode the city's authority to limit construction activity," Bell said. "The pandemic means people are spending more time at home and are under greater stress; they need relief from the constant construction noise."
In April, the Ford government used an emergency order to suspend noise bylaws and prevent the City of Toronto from limiting non-essential construction noise between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., daily. Toronto's pre-existing noise bylaw limited non-essential construction to between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Bell said Ford extending the unlimited construction hours by 18 months favours developers over the rights and well-being of residents.
Bell was joined at her press conference by the MPP for Spadina-Fort York Chris Glover, Annex resident Eric Robinson and Rick Green, treasurer of the Garment District Neighbourhood Association.
“Restoring the normal bylaw hours on construction would be a great benefit to the mental health of my family,” said Robinson, who has been routinely jolted awake by construction for a condo development as early as 5:45 a.m.
“Toronto residents have been burdened with the added negative impact of prolonged construction noise as they struggle with very real anxieties related to employment, the health of loved ones and restricted options for seeing friends and family,” said Green.
Glover said he has been on calls with residents where the jackhammering was so loud, he could barely hear what they were saying. During a pandemic, when everyone is staying home more, constant construction noise becomes unbearable for people.
Bell will table her motion in the Ontario legislature on Oct. 19.
ACT NOW: Contact Premier Ford and the Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark using this form telling them to restore municipal construction noise bylaws.