Noise Alert!

The City is trying to change the Noise Bylaw — and not in our favour. The changes would allow noise inside our homes from an outside source (amplified music, construction, clubs , etc.) at 85 dBA from 7 am to 11 pm. That is equal to a snow blower running all day! New York City’s dBA limit for homes is 42 dBA.

To make matters worse, residents can only contest excessive noise by having an inspector from Municipal Licences and Standards (MLS) visit their homes to measure the sound levels. The MLS’s few noise inspectors failed to monitor outdoor noise levels in the past, so how could this new system work for us?

York Quay Neighbourhood Association (YQNA) studied the proposed changes and strongly objects. On the  Waterfront, we have more than a dozen outdoor concert venues with hundreds of live music events a year.  We also have party boats on the lake with amplified music, and airplanes overhead from the island airport.

We urge you strongly to speak up. Insist on keeping the old bylaw, which protects residents from being disturbed in their own homes at all hours, and allows them to present evidence of disturbance. Once these general prohibitions are gone, your health and privacy could be on the line. Provincial legislation limits the noise at point of reception — such as your home — to 50 dBA. The City now asks us to live with 85 dBA, which is 12 times the 50 dBA on a calibrated scale!

YQNA is urging residents, councillors and neighbourhood associations to object to this change. We have until Feb. 15, 2016 to add our voices. The City document is here.

You may use this content in your protest:

  • I, (or neighbourhood association or other civic group) strongly protest the proposed changes to the City Noise Bylaw. I request that the General Prohibition (591-1), which protects residents from being disturbed in their own homes at all hours, and allows them to present evidence of disturbance, remain unchanged.
  • No multiple noise exemptions can be granted to concert venues, but must be granted one by one and be approved by the local city councillor.

Emails or letters should go to:

Jessica Walters
Jwalter2@toronto.ca
Senior Policy and Research Officer
Municipal Licensing and Standards
City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, West Tower, 16th Floor
Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2

Please share this information with as many as possible.

You can speak to this issue at the next public meeting by Municipal Licensing and Standards on February 17th, 2016 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at City Hall, 2nd Floor, Committee Room 1.

Meeting: Jack Layton Ferry Terminal

TAKE PART IN THE FUTURE OF OUR WATERFRONT. Waterfront Toronto is holding a public meeting to bring citizens up-to-date on the master plans for the revitalization of the Ferry Docks and Harbour Square Park. We encourage everyone to come out to this important meeting which will define the future of our Waterfront. NOTE: Included in this presentation will be the proposed changes to the Ring Road around the back of Harbour Square condos and to the parking lot now there. In lieu of an Open House, there will be an extended Q&A session.

DATE: TUESDAY, JANUARY 26

TIME: New Time: 6:30 – 8:30 PM

PLACE: Brigantine Room at Harbourfront Centre, 225 Queens Quay West

For more information, contact Waterfront Toronto at info@waterfronttoronto.ca.

Our Team on the Hill

Photo: Adam Scotti
Photo: Adam Scotti

The seismic shift in Parliament brings us this cheerful team: Ange Valentini, chief of staff to MP Adam Vaughan (top right) and the new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. We congratulate them on the outcome of their successful campaign that brought them to the Waterfront many times. YQNA has always worked closely with our elected officials.  We are pleased that this new government already is committed to maintaining the tripartite agreement that governs the Island Airport. Not opening the agreement to negotiations allows the current airport operations, but will prevent massive jet expansion that would seriously threaten life on the Waterfront. Go team, go!

Farewell to John Campbell

John Campbell (r) with his wife Margie and Bob Fung (l), his predecessor at Waterfront Toronto, enjoying the lively farewell party.
John Campbell (r) with his wife Margie and Bob Fung (l), his predecessor at Waterfront Toronto, enjoying the lively farewell party.

John Campbell is stepping down after 12 years as CEO of Waterfront Toronto (WT). He has navigated many beautiful projects through choppy waters on the Waterfront, and has prepared for new developments as far as the Port Lands. John’s tremendous business skills and diplomacy made him a perfect leader of what is North America’s largest urban renewal project. His popularity reached into the Waterfront communities, where he engaged residents and businesses in the planning of parks, streets, WaveDecks, Queens Quay redesign, boardwalks and new buildings in precinct plans. Our ideas were welcomed, as we soaked up lots of knowledge during hundreds of hours in committees and public and private meetings.

YQNA decided to throw a farewell party for John on a warm September evening on the pool deck of the Radisson Admiral Hotel overlooking the lake. Five other neighbourhood associations joined as hosts – from Gooderham Warts, West Don Lands, St. Lawrence, Toronto Islands and Bathurst Quay – as well as the Waterfront BIA. A large crowd of residents, business owners, planners, civil servants, politicians, architects and developers paid tribute to John.

The Waterfront BIA’s popular Singing Ambassadors performed “T.O. the Waterfront,” a song dedicated to John Campbell. Michael Colgrass (centre) wrote the music, Anna Prodanou the lyrics.
The Waterfront BIA’s popular Singing Ambassadors performed “T.O. the Waterfront,” a song dedicated to John Campbell. Michael Colgrass (centre) wrote the music, Anna Prodanou the lyrics.

Among the gifts was a new song, “T.O. the Waterfront,” created by local artists Michael Colgrass and Anna Prodanou. It was dedicated to John and performed by the WBIA’s Singing Ambassadors. Hear the song with Waterfront clips on YouTube. Another gift from residents was a one-of-a-kind book of images, collected from many sources to capture the Waterfront transformation under John’s tenure. The party was a heartfelt send-off for a person who is well-liked and will remain in Toronto’s history as an important city builder. The new CEO of WT was not yet announced at this writing.

Queens Quay Reborn

This summer our new and stunning Queens Quay was revealed. The long-anticipated promenade is completed between Bay St. and Spadina Ave. In a final flurry of activity, the construction and fences disappeared after three years of heavy work below and above ground. Thousands of people took part in the opening ceremony on June 19, 2015. Residents and business owners along the Waterfront stood along several blocks waving a huge blue ribbon, which was finally cut by finance minister Joe Oliver. John Campbell, CEO of Waterfront Toronto, and local representatives of the Waterfront BIA and YQNA spoke to the cheering crowds.

Queens Quay is a central part of the massive urban renewal plans for the Waterfront. It has already changed the ambiance and use of the Harbourfront area. The Central Waterfront has always drawn large crowds for recreation, boating, entertainment and sheer beauty, but for the first time the promenade and boardwalks give people room to move — on foot, on bikes and by transit. Car traffic has been reduced to two lanes, and tour buses are accommodated by lay-bys along the way. This type of urban space is common in Europe, but it is a first in Toronto. A few glitches and confusion about traffic patterns are being ironed out, and people are enjoying the luxury of especially designed benches, granite pavements, sleek light posts and wide promenades. Hundreds of newly planted trees will eventually add character and shade to Queens Quay. What seemed like three years of construction chaos has turned into a beautiful boulevard that is already a favourite destination.