Construction noise keeping you up at night? 2 Toronto councillors want province to knock it off


It's been more than a year since the province extended work hours on construction sites in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now there's a push at Toronto city hall to change them back on behalf of residents who can't stand the noise. 

Council is expected to consider a motion on Thursday asking the Ford government to repeal the regulations that allowed construction to begin earlier in the morning and continue later at night.

"If families are being woken up too early and kept up too late, it's largely because of the province," said Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam, who put the motion forward.

The province announced in April 2020 that essential construction projects, such as those in the health-care sector, would be able operate 24 hours a day. The government said the policy would allow for staggered shifts so workers could physically distance on the job to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus.

The regulations also changed the rules on noise allowances due to construction. In Toronto, the policy expanded the permitted time to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., every day of the week. That move essentially overrode the city's bylaw allowing construction noise between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and not at all on Sunday or statutory holidays. 

'I want to move the heck away from here'

"People are angry," said Wong-Tam, who represents Ward 13, Toronto Centre, an area where there's been plenty of construction. She says the constant noise is harmful to the mental health of residents, especially during the pandemic.

"People have reached a boiling point because they've got no place to go."

Chris Conrad, who lives in an apartment building near The Esplanade and Lower Jarvis Street, says she's been losing sleep due to the noise outside her apartment since the province extended the rules.