As summer festival season gets underway, the city of Saint-Lambert on Montreal’s South Shore is considering legal action to force events in Parc Jean-Drapeau to turn down the volume.
Saint-Lambert is situated right across the river from Parc Jean-Drapeau.
People living in Saint-Lambert told CBC it's like having a noisy neighbour who holds wild parties every weekend throughout the summer.
“It’s horrendous — atrocious. People are leaving the town on the weekends because they just can't stand it,” said Jean Levesque, a Saint-Lambert resident.
Levesque and some of his neighbours said that during the summer the noise starts in the early afternoon and can continue until midnight, making it difficult to enjoy their backyards or put their children to sleep.
Turn it down, council tells Montreal
In March, Saint-Lambert city council voted unanimously to ask Montreal’s downtown borough of Ville-Marie — which is responsible for Parc Jean-Drapeau — to turn down the volume from the 60-decibel limit to 50 decibels.
“The thing I want people to understand is that we are not asking them to cancel the events. We understand that they are important cultural and economic events, and we are happy they happen in the region. But even with our windows closed on the weekends, we can hear the singer perfectly — we can hear what he's saying to the crowd,” said Saint-Lambert city councillor David Bowles.
But rather than lower the sound limit, the Ville-Marie borough voted to do away with the limit altogether.
“There was a unanimous decision by the council members of the Ville-Marie borough. Ville-Marie Montreal is one of the top three [places] in eastern North America to host these kinds of big events and we want to continue. We want to attract big stars and big events,” said Marthe Boucher, head of Ville-Marie’s Permits and Inspections division.
Residents of Saint-Lambert say it’s not just the noise that annoys them — it’s also the type of music.
Heavy Montreal is a heavy metal festival that takes place at Parc Jean-Drapeau every summer.
Jason Rockman, a musician and ambassador of the festival, said people should stop complaining and join in on the fun.
“When you really think about it, Heavy Montreal is one weekend a year. We are trapped under ice all winter. What's a couple of days of loud music?” Rockman said.
Saint-Lambert officials said they may consider legal action to try to restore peace and quiet to their city.