Residents of an Etobicoke neighbourhood say the smell of a nearby soap factory is making them sick and they want the odour scrubbed.

"We smell it in the backyard, we smell it when we're on the porch. If I open the window, the smell comes in," Joanne Currie told CBC News. "If you're familiar with Lush, it's like that times a hundred."

Currie is among a group of residents rallying to make the factory, located on Jutland Road near The Queensway and Kipling Avenue, as well as the city do something about the smelly situation. Lush Cosmetics began production in the area in 2013.

Since then, Currie says her husband has been experiencing regular migraines from the smell.

He isn't alone. Currie says residents met with Lush representatives last Thursday. That's when many others complained of headaches and skin irritation.

"The smell is extremely obnoxious," said resident Brittany Melo, who has lived in the area her whole life. 

"It's as if you're walking into a store and you're smelling a sample of perfume and it's right up to your nose," Melo said.

Melo says she was disappointed to see her MPP, Liberal Peter Milczyn, publicly praise the factory. "They have created many jobs making innovative and sustainable products," Milczyn said. 

'I don't think my backyard should smell like a Lush store'

At the meeting, residents said a Lush representative told them upgrades such as possible filtration measures are being planned for the factory, which was built in the fifties. However, they say the representative told them the smell cannot be scrubbed completely.


Joanne Currie is among a group of residents calling on Lush to do something about the odour coming from its factory on Jutland Road near The Queenway And Kipling Avenue. (CBC)

"I don't think that my backyard should smell like a Lush store," said Currie, who added that the odour travels as far east as Islington, up to Dundas and to the Queensway.

In a statement to CBC News, Lush said it's aware of the community concerns and has attempted to seal the building as much as possible to cut down on the sound and smell coming from the facility.

"In addition, we've been working with the Ministry of Environment and a third party engineer to identify the scent levels related to our production facility," Lush spokesperson Brandi Halls said in the statement.

"We are currently in the process of identifying and reviewing additional options allowing us to further reduce any impact on our neighbours."

The company noted that it recently welcomed 200 neighbours into the facility to explain the operations.

"We take their concerns seriously and will continue to work toward ensuring that Lush is positively impacting its community."

The Ministry of the Environment says it's aware of the residents' concerns and is working with Lush to reduce the impact of the smell.

In the meantime, Helen Wojciechowicz, who moved into the neighbourhood just three years ago, said she's thinking of leaving because of the smell.

"I can't live in this area. I have to sell the house," Wojciechowicz said.

Lush was founded in the U.K.. In Canada, there are factories in Toronto and Vancouver.