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City councillors sound off on noisy cars and leaf blowers
July 7, 2022

Toronto is considering a pilot program to monitor noise in the city as part of a slew of initiatives to try to bring down the urban decibels.

The Economic and Community Development Committee on Wednesday adopted several motions, still requiring approval from city council, that would address the many public complaints councillors get about leaf blowers, bars and loud cars.

Committee Chair Michael Thomas, who suggested the pilot program with noise-activated cameras, said the sound levels in the city are a persistent problem.

“It’s a challenge that we have to respond to, recognizing fully that in a cosmopolitan city like Toronto, certainly there is a balance with respect to level of noise and productivity and so on,” Thompson said Wednesday. “And I think it’s really important for us to strike that right balanceā€¦ We have to come up with a made-in-Toronto solution.”

A proposal by Mayor John Tory, supported by the committee, was a request to Toronto Police that they team up with city staff to conduct a blitz of loud vehicles.

Tory also suggested the city develop a decibel limit for vehicles.

The committee backed a staff recommendation that the provincial government be asked to ramp up the fines and add driver’s licence demerit points to penalize motorists for violations under the Highway Traffic Act related to modified exhaust systems and excessive noise.

The committee approved a staff proposal to push back the time that people can fire up the devices to 8 a.m. on regular weekdays from the current 7 a.m.

The committee excluded golf courses and city operations, including private services contracted by the city, from the power device restriction.