A citizen complained about the excessive noise generated during the festivities related to Canada Day and Fête nationale du Québec as well as during other events planned in the park located beside his residence. This citizen wanted the unfolding of the loud activities to take place during reduced hours or even, that these events be relocated to another site.

We discussed the situation with representatives of Ville-Marie borough to explore the possible solutions, in order to minimize disadvantages experienced by the residents of the sector.

It rapidly appeared that the idea of relocating the concerned activities to another site was not an appropriate solution. The actual site was especially arranged, at high cost, for holding such events. It is located in the centre of the borough, and access is easy. This park was specially conceived to welcome a great number of people at the same time, and in a way that the cleaning and restoring of the site, after an event, can be quick and easy.

It is also relevant to point out that the festivities in question generally seem appreciated, as there are a lot of people participating every year.

Among the main disadvantages the citizen was complaining about, the shows presented in the evening, and their preparation, seemed particularly disturbing. According to the citizen, the musicians and singers produced a high level of noise, for many hours, during the day rehearsals, and the shows ended often too late.

Following our interventions, the borough accepted to collaborate to minimize, as much as possible, the nuisance for the citizens living near the park:

  • It committed itself to having daytime rehearsals of a maximum of 45 minutes each, to be held only between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., the day of the event
  • It was also decided that sound testing could only occur between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., and that they would last no longer that one hour
  • It accepted to reorient the speakers in the opposite direction of the citizen’s residences
  • It committed itself to having the evening shows end at 11 p.m., at the latest.

The citizen had also mentioned his concerns regarding safety issues, on the site of the event, as well as near his residence, more specifically, when a large group of citizens meet together or move simultaneously.

The borough therefore prohibited any circulation of vehicles in the streets surrounding the park, during events. Moreover, it secured the presence of extra police officers and firemen. Some adjustments were made to the site, to further facilitate the evacuation of merrymakers within 30 minutes following the end of the activities.

Another aspect which was bothering the citizen was the clean-up operation. He was complaining that they started immediately after the activities, generating more noise, late into the night.

According to the borough, the presence of clean-up crews immediately after the activities accelerates the evacuation of the site, by the last merrymakers, and also prevents the presence of seagulls on site.

At our request, the borough accepted to try and postpone the clean-up until 7 a.m. the next morning. They will however need to evaluate the impacts of this experience.

In conclusion, the interventions of the Ombudsman de Montréal resulted in the application of many changes in the organization and unfolding of the activities related to these public events, so that the inconveniences felt by the neighboring residents were greatly reduced.

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