Ontario Construction News editor
Residents living in a Toronto neighbourhood say they are fed up with the near-constant construction noise lasting until 3 a.m. every day at a Metrolinx project.
The Davenport Diamond project is a Metrolinx project to build an elevated rail bridge, called a guideway, over existing CP Rail tracks through the Junction Triangle to help with its plan to ease congestion and increase service on the Barrie GO line.
Construction and caisson drilling in the area just south of Dupont near Lansdowne started in February and is scheduled to continue until July.
Since the provincial government extended construction hours for essential projects back in April 2020 due to COVID-19, the work is permitted to continue until 3 a.m.
Ontario extended construction hours for essential projects, like critical projects in the health care sector, to 24 hours a day.
“During this escalating crisis, we are taking immediate steps to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place, particularly to properly care for those with severe COVID-19 symptoms and other patients who require critical care,” Premier Doug Ford said in March 2020. “That’s why we’re extending construction hours to allow us to build essential infrastructure faster, while ensuring construction workers can practice physical distancing on work sites to stay safe and healthy.”
Now Davenport Member of Parliament Marit Styles is appealing to the Minister of Transportation for help.
“As overnight construction continued to negatively impact the lives of residents near the Davenport Diamond project, I met with residents in March to discuss follow up, and what they would like to see from Metrolinx in terms of mitigating late night noise,” Styles said in a statement.
“It was agreed that the best thing Metrolinx could do would be to stop construction at 11pm every night.”
Her recent letter follows a written plea in February regarding the Diamond construction project and the disruption that overnight caisson drilling is causing in the Davenport riding.
“While there have always been complaints about the noise generated by the construction of the
Davenport Diamond, these complaints have increased significantly, owing to the fact that the construction schedule now runs from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m., six days a week,” Styles wrote.
“Since that letter, there have been even more complaints about noise levels late at night, and most of the new complaints are from constituents who have not contacted my office about this issue before.
Residents report “continuous” and “unbearable” noise from overnight construction.
Some sleep with earplugs or in closets, saying “they have lost the ability to function at work because of lack of sleep.”
Metrolinx’s 20 hour construction days will wrap up in July if work is on schedule.
“Minister, this is an urgent issue. This construction is having a completely unreasonable negative impact on the lives of my constituents,” Stiles wrote to Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney. “In addition to the questions I raised in the last letter about reducing noise levels, or limiting the number of overnight construction days, I would also like to ask that your Ministry look into stopping construction at the Davenport Diamond at 11 p.m. every night.
[…] In fact, in April 2020, the government of Ontario extended construction hours for essential projects to help accelerate their progress. Work on essential projects like hospital builds and expansions or COVID-19 assessment centres is now allowed to continue 24 hours a day. These extended hours also allow construction employers to offset delays due to important COVID-19 safety measures like staggering work and reducing the number of subcontractors on site. However, allowing construction work to continue at all hours of the day and night is having an impact on residents near these sites. […]
The rock crushing, jack hammering, workers shouting and sawing that takes place 20 feet behind my unit between 11 pm and 6 am 5 to 6 nights a week has taken such a toll that I am unable to work due to exhaustion and chronic fatigue. My Doctor is treating me with sleeping pills and noise canceling earphones to no avail. All of my neighbours are regularly in tears over how negatively the noise has affected us the past 1.5
years. The disruption to sleep has been an assault on our physical and mental health.