Construction the culprit as noise complaints on the rise in Toronto

If you've been noticing it's getting noisier in Toronto, you're not alone - noise complaints are on the rise and the city says the main reason for that is construction.

Demolition at Eglinton Avenue West Starbucks location went on from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.

The City of Toronto says construction is to blame as noise complaints increase in the city. (David Donnelly/CBC)

If you've been noticing it's getting noisier in Toronto, you're not alone  — complaints are on the rise and the city says the main reason for that is the sound of construction.

Tema Smith lives two doors down from a Starbucks at 900 Eglinton Avenue West, near Bathurst Street, that's going through some renovations. 

Smith says one night recently, demolition work continued from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. the following morning.

"There was jack hammering, sledge hammering of wall tiles ... basically a full-blown construction scene," Tema told CBC News. "I was fairly livid." 

Smith filed a noise complaint with the city — a procedure which is laid out on the City of Toronto website.  

Teva Smith says Starbucks was "horrified" to find out that demolition work was going on at the location in the middle of the night. (CBC News)

The contractors were violating a bylaw that prohibits construction after 7 p.m. Two days later, city staff visited the coffee shop and warned the contractors that if they break the law again, they will be charged. 

Starbucks says it regrets the disturbance and blames the incident on miscommunication between the company and the contractors. Smith was given a $50 Starbucks gift card.

Only city of Toronto construction work is permitted during off hours and it has to be considered an emergency repair.

"I am glad the demolition was only one night, Tema said.

"I would have preferred if they did it between what I think are quite generous bylaws. Seven a.m. to 7 p.m. is not that difficult to abide by."
 

With files from Alison Chiasson