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Turn down the volume! Toronto Star

The Toronto Star September 16 editorial eloquently reflects the Toronto Noise Coalition’s position that the City must address excessive noise issues. Among other points it notes: • “It turns out (no surprise) that constant exposure to loud motorcycles, blaring loudspeakers in cars, back-up warning beepers on trucks and all the other din in a city can cause hearing loss, cognitive impairment, heart disease and strokes, not to mention stress and depression.” • “Still, for far too long politicians haven’t taken these warnings seriously. That’s despite the fact that noise is one of the top complaints among people living in big cities. In fact, it’s the No. 1 complaint to New York City’s 311 line and was No. 5 on Toronto’s in 2017. Tory is on the right track (in calling for a new kind of bylaw, one based on best practices,) but he needs to take a stronger, more urgent stand on this issue. Studies that have compared people in cities to those in quieter regions show that the situation is dire.” Mayor John Tory’s timing for a review of the city’s noise bylaw is perfect, because we are facing no enforcement of noise limits whatsoever. The Municipal Licensing & Standards proposes a watered-down noise bylaw that would remove basic noise protection in our homes and work places. Incongruously, they are mixing noise and health issues with support for commercial interests in construction and music and entertainment. Calling City Hall’s 311 offers no timely response to noise complaints. The Police will no longer respond to noise complaints, unless peoples’ lives are in danger. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission, which regulates liquor licensing in Ontario, is also removing noise complaints from their oversight. Add to this vacuum, the push for a “nighttime economy” and Toronto could become unfit to live in. Let us do something about it now.

Read the full Toronto Star editorial here: Turn Down the Volume

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