When Summer Sounds Turn Sour: Dealing with Noise in Your Neighbourhood

When Summer Sounds Turn Sour: Dealing with Noise in Your Neighbourhood

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Ah, summer! The season of sunshine, barbecues, and outdoor fun. But with the warmer weather and longer days, the sounds of summer can sometimes turn into a cacophony of noise. From loud music at backyard parties to the incessant hum of air conditioners, summer can bring a host of noise-related challenges. So, what can you do when the noise in your neighbourhood gets to be too much?

Here are some steps you can take to attempt to restore peace and quiet in your home.

Open Communication

The first step in addressing noise issues is often the simplest: talk to your neighbours. They may not even realize their noise is causing a disturbance. Approach them politely and express your concerns. Most people are considerate and willing to compromise once they understand their actions are affecting others.

Know the Local Noise Ordinances

Every city has noise ordinances in place that set limits on the amount and type of noise that is acceptable during specific hours. Familiarize yourself with these regulations. If your neighbour’s noise is in violation of these ordinances, you can report them to local law enforcement or your local municipality’s noise control office.

In Thunder Bay, the Noise Bylaw is available here: Noise Bylaw

The short version is that: Prohibited Times From 11:00 p.m. any day until 7:00 a.m. the following day, unless the following day is a Sunday or a statutory holiday, in which case the prohibition continues until 9:00 a.m. From 11:00 p.m. any day until 7:00 a.m. the following day, unless the following day is a Sunday or a statutory holiday.

You can Contact the Licensing & Enforcement Division at 807-577-MLEO (6536) for inquiries to the Noise By-law or a nuisance as outlined in the Property Standards By-law.

Document the Noise

If the noise continues, start documenting it. Keep a log of when the noise occurs, how long it lasts, and how it affects you. This could be useful if you need to report the issue to authorities or if the situation escalates to a legal dispute.

Use Mediation Services

If direct communication doesn’t work, consider using a mediation service. Many communities offer these services to help resolve disputes between neighbours. A neutral third party can facilitate a conversation to find a resolution that works for everyone.

Legal Action

If all else fails, you may need to consider legal action. This could involve filing a lawsuit for nuisance in small claims court. If successful, the court could order your neighbour to stop the noise. Consult with a lawyer to understand your options and the potential costs involved.

Contact Your Homeowner’s Association

If you live in a community with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), they may have rules about noise and can enforce them. Contact your HOA board with your concerns and provide them with your documentation of the noise issue.

Noise-Cancelling Solutions

While you’re working on resolving the issue, consider noise-cancelling solutions for your home. This could include noise-cancelling headphones, white noise machines, or even adding insulation or soundproofing materials to your home.

Remember, everyone has a right to enjoy their home without excessive noise. By taking a proactive approach and using the resources available to you, you can ensure that your summer is filled with the sounds of peace and tranquility, not unwanted noise.

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