Noise was the most pressing concern for Waterfront residents at the York Quay Neighborhood Association (YQNA) at is March 9 meeting despite good news about plans for the Gardiner Expressway and redesign plans for the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.
Many residents were concerned about potential changes to the city’s noise by-law following a review by the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division. Given the activity around the harbour and the Toronto Islands, many York Quay residents feel they are already vulnerable to noise and they voiced their concerns to Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell.
“There is a noise bylaw that basically says that you can’t have noise emanating into your home. You have the right to the quiet enjoyment and that doesn’t matter if that’s midnight or two in the afternoon,” said McConnell, validating their concerns. “Thiswas a big change from where Instead of saying [noise] is a violation if it bothers you, it’s not a violation unless what’s bothering you is 85 decibels—which is enormous.”
“There’s no changes being approved yet,” said McConnell, “[The review] took us by surprise because it was on the agenda so quickly, but I think we were loud and clear and when it comes back, I’m hoping they will make adjustments.”
McConnell also provided updates on the Gardiner Expressway. The upcoming take-down of the Simcoe ramp will unlock community park space, which is slated for a design process early in 2017.
Plans to give the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal a modern, artistic and welcoming update were also a point of discussion.
“It’s like a cattle pen; you have no idea that on the other side of the water, is one of the jewels of Toronto,” said McConnell. “Who would ever dare to put Jack Layton’s name up and leave it as a cattle pen? Instead, [The renaming] was an opportunity to rethink that whole entry point.”
YQNA co-chair Ed Hore closed off the meeting by discussing a community group emerging from the campaign against the Island Airport jets.
“We ended up having a group of people getting to know each other and developing considerable expertise,” said Hore, “A lot of people said we did a great job fighting against jets, but now what’s needed is a group that will advocate for things,”
“We can’t control what’s going to happen federally or at any other level of government, but it’s worth thinking through what we want,” said Hore, “We’re trying to form a vision of what we think groups should support. We’ll come up with a drafts and bring them to all of these constituent groups. If it works, all of these groups can be pulling in unison to put forward a proactive vision.”