City of Montreal to address high levels of noise pollution

The City of Montreal will be adding more soundproofing measures to some neighbourhoods, in light of a recent study which suggests noise levels in Montreal often surpass the recommended limit.

Director of public health finds nearly 70 per cent of locations surveyed exceed recommended noise limit

A recent study conducted by Montreal's public health agency found that noise levels in the city often surpass the recommended limit, especially near the airport and along railways. (CBC)

The City of Montreal will be adding more soundproofing measures to some neighbourhoods, in light of a study which suggests noise levels in Montreal often surpass the recommended limit set by the World Health Organization.

Montreal's public health agency conducted the study in 2010 by measuring ambient noise levels at 87 different locations on the island of Montreal.

The World Health Organization recommends that people not be exposed to levels over 55 decibels, but Montreal Director of public health director Richard Massé said nearly 70 per cent of the locations they measured exceeded that limit. 

Neighbourhoods close to railways, such as Pointe-Saint-Charles; those near Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport; and those along Décarie Boulevard had particularly high noise levels.

Massé said such high noise levels can be harmful.

"People are awakened at night time more than they might be usually, and that may lead ... to cardiovascular disease," he said.

In response to the findings, the City of Montreal said it plans to implement new measures to help reduce the level of noise in the city. 

Réal Ménard, the city's executive committee member responsible for the environment, says a regional noise control policy is in the works.

It will identify problem areas in the city and address them by adopting measures including: 

  • New urban planning measures to help reduce noise pollution.
  • Soundproofing measures for buildings in certain sectors. 
  • Update criteria for land-zoning designations.

According to Ménard, the project is set to be adopted by the end of 2014. 


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