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Dogs barking to construction: Canadians rate noisiness of their community

Research Co.’s online survey was conducted from May 19 to May 21, among 1,000 adults in Canada
Vancouver is currently in the process of making amendments to its noise control bylaw (Pixabay).

From vehicles, barking dogs to construction noises, more Canadians than ever feel their community is only getting louder.

That’s according to a new Research Co. poll, released Monday (May 29), which found that 54 per cent of respondents believed their town or city has gotten noisier in the past year – an uptick of five percentage points from the previous survey.

Construction noises affected most survey respondents, or roughly 32 per cent.

Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., noted that more Canadians were trying to find ways to combat the loud noises of their cities.

“The proportion of Canadians who have not taken any action to deal with noise inside their home has fallen from 74 per cent in 2022 to 67 per cent in 2023,” Canseco said.

“Canadians aged 18 to 34 are more likely to be wearing earplugs or acquiring special hardware to mitigate noise.”

READ MORE: Noise bylaw not a quick fix to Area D issue, RDCK report says

In Vancouver, a noise control bylaw mandates that construction on private property can only be carried out designated times during the week. Construction is not allowed on Sundays.

The same bylaw doesn’t allow pets to make any unreasonable noise, like excessive barking.

Vancouver city officials are looking for public feedback for possible changes to this bylaw. This plan is a multi-year effort to combat noise-related nuisances, with the online survey being the first step.

The survey closes on Tuesday, May 30.

Victoria has a similar noise bylaw but the difference is that, under certain circumstances, construction-generated noise can be exempted. The application requires a $50 fee, a map of the affected areas, and the letter of support from the owners of neighbouring properties.

The survey found that 61 per cent of residents in Alberta, B.C. and Ontario found that their cities are louder now than in 2022.

Residents of Quebec, Atlantic Canada, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba share these results, albeit not as high. In Quebec it’s 50 per cent, Atlantic Canada is 45 per cent, and Saskatchewan and Manitoba are both 44 per cent.