Montreal

Pointe-Saint-Charles residents upset by gigantic buzzing factory fan

Some Pointe-Saint-Charles residents are losing sleep over the noise coming from Arctic Glacier.

Neighbours say company and borough are not moving fast enough

Kitty Macaulay says the constant humming from the fan is unbearable. (Laurene Jardin/CBC)

Some Pointe-Saint-Charles residents are losing sleep over the noise made by giant industrial fan coming from the nearby Arctic Glacier facility on de Reading Street.

Kitty Macaulay told CBC Montreal's Daybreak that she had to move her bedroom to cope with the buzzing sound from the fan, that she said operates around the clock.

"People are exhausted by it," she said. 

Macaulay, who lives on Knox Street, said she recorded the sound and that it had hit 50 to 70 decibels. According to the city, the maximum level in a bedroom at night is 38 decibels.

"It's like a David and Goliath."

Quality of life affected

Brendan Taylor lived beside Macaulay but moved away this April and he now rents out his duplex to two tenants. The main reason for his move was to find more space but he admitted that the noise also played a role in his decision.

"It's so disruptive," Taylor said. "I used to read the newspaper in bed and would say, you know, 'Ugh. Close the window, close the blinds, close the curtains, get as many layers between us and the noise as possible.'"

A large plywood box was put up around the vent at the facility but it doesn't help, according to residents. (Laurene Jardin/CBC)

Taylor used earplugs to sleep, but said the buzzing noise vibrates throughout the apartment. Neighbours no longer use their backyards as a result of the noise, according to Taylor.

"No one's enjoying their space that we pay for, that we enjoy," Taylor said.

Company and city looking into it

Jeremy Spencer, the vice president of Arctic Glacier, said in an emailed response that the ice packaging company was aware of the situation.

"We are committed to, and actively working towards, a suitable and sustainable solution in order to maintain the great relationship we have with that community," Spencer wrote.

Taylor said he had tried to reach out to the company but that they never respond.

"I've gone to reception she fluffed me off," Taylor said. "They haven't actually interacted with us."

Macaulay helped form a petition with 100 signatures that they gave to the city.

Kitty Macaulay said she had to rearrange her entire bedroom just to escape the noise. (Laurene Jardin/CBC)

"The noise disturbance from Arctic Glacier is bad enough during the day," Macaulay wrote in the letter.

"Now absolutely nothing less than turning off this terrible noise at night will do. We want our bedrooms back."

'They don't take us seriously'

The city did get Arctic Glacier to turn off the condenser last summer but it did not stop the company from starting the fans again this year.

In an emailed response, spokesperson for the Southwest borough Thierry Larrivée, said Arctic Glacier recently got a permit to install a permanent noise barrier. He said the borough was "pressing them to have it done as soon as possible."

Larrivée also said the borough would be taking noise level readings before and after to make sure it respects regulations.

Taylor was not convinced.

"I'd love them to back up their words with action and I feel like they're just not" he said. "They don't take us seriously."

With files from Brennan Neil