Various international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), are raising awareness of the impacts noise pollution can have on our health. Toronto Public Health is currently working with City partners to develop a comprehensive Noise Action Plan to mitigate environmental noise. In a parallel effort, the Municipal Licensing and Standards division has undertaken a review of the City's Noise By-law to regulate episodic types of noise.
In April, City Council approved updates to Toronto’s Noise By-Law (Municipal Code, Chapter 591), including new and updated definitions, noise level limits, and a more streamlined exemption permit process. These changes will come into effect on October 1, 2019. More information on the Noise By-Law Review can be found online, here.
I supported specific provisions discouraging overnight events and construction activity, requesting the Provincial government to review its noise guidelines, and directing city staff to monitor and report back on the implementation and impact of the amendments.
To reduce your exposure, Toronto Public Health has recommended the following actions to residents:
Buy Quiet – select and purchase low-noise tools and appliances, including leafblowers
Maintain tools and appliances routinely
Reduce the volume on your television and portable music devices
Isolate the noise source in an insulated room or enclosure
Use sound barriers, such as double paned windows, weather stripping or planting trees to act as a buffer between the noise source and your family
Wear an ear protection device for noisy commutes or other inescapable noisy environments
If you experience any specific noise-related issues, I would encourage you to report the incident to 311 for further investigation.