Toronto councillor call for end to extended construction hours

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Toronto city councillors want the province to put an end to extended construction hours that they say have been netagively impacting residents since April 2020.

Councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam and Josh Matlow created a petition opposing the longer work hours.

Doug Ford’s provincial government used COVID-19 to extend construction hours for his developer friends under the guise of building new hospitals,” Matlow wrote. While no new hospitals were built in Ontario, many Toronto residents have suffered as a result of excessive noise day and night, seven days a week, from luxury condo developments.

I have heard from too many Torontonians whose mental health and work has suffered from this greedy giveaway to developers. Extending construction hours should have never happened in the first place, but it’s certainly well past time that this decision was reversed.

Ontario extended construction hours shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared. The new rules permitted residential construction to go from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day of the week. In an April 2020 news release, Premier Doug Ford said new rules were needed to expedite building new healthcare facilities across the province.

Residents in various parts of the city have been complaining in growing numbers, saying they are frustrated by construction noise starting as early as 6 a.m. and lasting until 10 a.m. every day.

“Enough is enough,” Kristyn Wong-Tam wrote on Twitter. “It’s been 16 long months since Ford overrode the city’s noise bylaw.”

“It’s time for him to give Torontonians back their sleep.”

Wong-Tam presented a motion to council for support urging the provincial government to end the extended hours and let municipalities resume responsibility for noise restrictions.

“During this escalating crisis, we are taking immediate steps to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place, particularly to properly care for those with severe COVID-19 symptoms and other patients who require critical care,” Ford said, implementing 24/7 hours for essential construction projects.

However, rules also changed for non-essential construction and Toronto’s noise bylaws were altered.

“Residents across the city have complained that their mental health and work have suffered from these extended construction hours,” Wong-Tam wrote in a motion to council. “Extending construction hours should have never happened in the first place, but it’s certainly well past time that this decision was reversed.”

Previously, municipal bylaws permitted construction from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays. Construction was not permitted on Sunday prior to April 2020.

The regulation is currently scheduled to end in October.

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