Joel Harden MPP / Député, Ottawa Centre

Government of Ontario

Letter to Minister Clark on Construction Noise

Published on May 5, 2021

Non-essential construction is hurting constituents' mental health and putting workers at risk.

I'm asking the government to pause residential construction until after the stay-at-home order is lifted, and give Ottawa back control over its own noise bylaws.

Click here to access the PDF version of the letter or read it below: 

Hon. Steve Clark
Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing 17
th Floor
777 Bay St.
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5

May 5, 2021

Dear Minister Clark,

I am writing to you on behalf of numerous constituents who have expressed concern with excessive construction noise during the provincial stay-at-home order. These construction projects are non- essential, consisting of either new condo builds or non-emergency renovations to existing residences.

Residents have reported being startled awake as early as 6am, with no respite until 10pm. For those working from home, the noise and vibrations are especially disruptive. With a stay-at-home order in place, they have no option other than to endure the drilling and blasting taking place beside them. It is particularly stressful and unsettling for parents who are looking after young children.

In some cases, this construction exceeds city bylaws regulating hours of work and acceptable noise levels. This is the result of the province suspending enacting new regulations on April 7, which prevents the city from limiting when residential construction can take place. From now until October 2021, the city is unable to restrict non-essential construction noise between 6am to 10pm, seven days a week, with no exception for statutory holidays.

The continuation of residential construction also poses a risk to workers. Construction has been flagged by experts as a major source of workplace outbreaks. In fact, 68% of all workplace outbreaks have occurred at offices, warehouses, shipping & distribution, and construction. Luxury condo construction, or renovations that do not consist of critical maintenance work, is not essential construction and it is reckless to allow its continuation without any reasonable limits.

Minister, constituents who live beside these building sites are in desperate need of relief. I am imploring you to put a pause on residential construction until after the stay-at-home order, and allow cities to once again regulate construction noise in the public interest.

My very best,

Joel Harden
MPP for Ottawa Centre