Three years ago I moved into my peaceful apartment in High Park, on the top floor of a house on a hill, with a beautiful view across the park. Friends came over and awed at "the treehouse", while I beamed because I felt so restful when I was there. This is what my home was, a respite from the loud world outside, but I'm slowly being driven mad by my noisy neighbours.
Excuse me if I complain again
. Every day begins with my neighbour’s fascination with patio stones, which are cut on the premises. My other neighbour across the street appears to have hard on for noise of any kind: leaf blowers (have you heard these things?), car vacuums and drum sets. It's frequent and frustrating.
This past Saturday I awoke at 9am in full bitch mode, and traveled the 70 steps down to the road where I met the leaf-blower demon head on. I mean, really, it's not even Fall, can't you just rake the damn leaves? And, don't you care everyone's trying to sleep? Well, I lost the battle, but it doesn't mean I'll lose the war.
In a bit of a tirade I hopped online and began looking up Toronto's noise by-laws. Amended in 2003, it read, "No person shall make, cause or permit noise (defined as unwanted sound), or vibration, at any time which is likely to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the inhabitants of this City." Sounds good, but then it continues to report that anyone can do whatever they want between 7am (9am on weekends) and 11pm at night. Dammit. Who’s gonna help me now?
I kept digging and came across a Now Magazine article
which discussed how noise pollution is linked to a number of health related problems, including, of course, hearing loss. Up to now I was just pissed because I couldn't sleep, but now I'm thinking, maybe my neighbours are contributing to my gradual hearing loss too, among other things. It's a bit of a worry for me. My dad has some serious problems with his hearing lately, and I wonder if I might go down the same path. I've been going to crazy loud parties for a long time, and while I'm no Frankie Wilde
, I expect that I too might have to deal with this issue someday.
So, now I'm stressed about my stress and my hearing loss, great. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a resolution to this one. I can't get my neighbors' team of landscapers on either side to work reasonable hours. Move out of the city or deal with it I guess. Toronto is nowhere near as bad as Tokyo or New York for constant street chatter, but it is getting worse and nobody seems to want to make any noise about it.