Rosemont residents fed up after more than 3 years of 'unbearable' noise from construction site

·3 min read
Hugues Monfroy left his neighbourhood after construction on the STM's new Bellechasse bus depot grew too noisy. He's now taking action to help residents still putting up with it.  (CBC - image credit)
Hugues Monfroy left his neighbourhood after construction on the STM's new Bellechasse bus depot grew too noisy. He's now taking action to help residents still putting up with it. (CBC - image credit)

For more than three years, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie resident Camille Lescarbeau says she's put up with incessant noise from construction near her home.

But she's finally reached a breaking point, and wants to move.

"You never know if you're going to have a day off from the sound," she said.

"On your days off, when you want to relax at home, they're still working on it. So it's just been really hard to relax and have a peaceful life."

Lescarbeau lives near the construction site of the Société de Transport de Montréal's (STM) new Bellechasse bus depot. She said that since construction began in 2019, she's been awoken at 6 a.m. almost daily by sounds of beeping trucks and yelling workers.

She said the situation became intolerable during the pandemic when both her remote schooling and work were disrupted by the sounds of explosions during the demolition process on the site.

"Just the stress of it … it was unbearable," she said. "I'm looking — I'm always looking [to move], but it's hard to find a place."

CBC
CBC

Hugues Monfroy is already gone. He used to live in the neighbourhood, but moved away after he couldn't handle the noise anymore.

"It's like you have the truck in your living room. The problem is that it's constant. It's every day. You don't know when to expect it and it creates anxiety, and a fight or flight response," he said.

Monfroy said the noise at the STM site often began before 7 a.m. on weekdays and before 9 a.m. on weekends, despite city regulations.

Last week, Monfroy penned an open letter to municipal and provincial officials demanding that the STM respect the scheduling laws put in place for construction noise, as well as replace the alarms on vehicles backing up with gentler, less piercing white noise broadband alarms.

"The solution already exists, it's been existing for 10 years. It's called the BBS, it costs [next] to nothing. For a few hundred dollars you can change the alarm in question and it would be problem solved," he said.

Monfroy said he's yet to hear from officials.

CBC contacted Quebec's Transport Ministry, the borough of  Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie and the city of Montreal, but all three refused to comment on the situation.

The STM also denied a request for interview, but said the noise last week before 7 a.m. didn't come from its construction site. It also said it is impossible to change the back-up alarms on the trucks at the site as the agency is dealing with too many contractors.

The new bus garage is slated to be complete by fall of 2023. Monfroy said his next step is to find a way to sit down with elected officials to ensure quieter living for residents for the remainder of this project and those to come.

"I will push this as far as I can on my own if I have to," he said.

A weary Lescarbeau said she and her partner doubt the situation will improve anytime soon, so they'll continue hunting for a new place to live.