Westmount residents and MUHC agree on noise pollution settlement

After more than a year of complaints, Westmount residents can look forward to some peace and quiet. The MUHC and the residents have reached a settlement that will see the noise coming from the Glen site reduced.

Hospital agrees to reduce noise levels from the Glen site ventilation system

The noise from the ventilation system of the MUHC Glen site was so loud, some nearby residents had to stay inside. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Westmount residents and the McGill University Health Centre have reached a settlement over noise pollution coming from the Glen site.

Residents around the super hospital complained for more than a year about noise coming from the building that houses the hospital's ventilation system

"They couldn't use their backyards, for example,"  said Catherine Sylvestre, a lawyer representing the residents.

"Some of them couldn't sleep in their bed with the windows open."

If the agreement is approved, the MUHC and the consortium responsible for building the hospital will pay a total of $420,000.

The bulk of that will be given to some of the residents affected based on their proximity to the hospital, the rest will go to lawyers and experts working on the case.

The MUHC has also agreed to reduce the noise pollution coming from the building.

Sylvestre said experts suggested decibel levels remain below 43 decibels and that some more disturbing frequencies be avoided.

"It was different numbers depending on the time of day or night, or places," said Sylvestre, said of the noise coming from the Glen.

"But we believe the reduction is considerable."

Catherine Sylvestre says her clients' main goal was to reduce noise levels coming from the Glen site. (Sylvain Charest/CBC)

Residents had tried to find a solution directly with the MUHC. 

They met with representatives from the hospital, the consortium and the mayor of Westmount, Peter Trent, several times.

When that didn't work, they filed a class-action lawsuit in December.

"They felt they weren't heard by the other party so they wanted to have a place around the table to discuss what was an issue that was really present in their lives," said Sylvestre.

The settlement has yet to be approved by a judge. That is expected to happen in February.