Saint-Lambert signs agreement to cap noise from Parc Jean-Drapeau events

·2 min read

In an agreement that was only revealed publicly after city councillors voted on it Monday evening, Saint-Lambert and the promoter Evenko set a new limit on sound coming from large events at Parc Jean-Drapeau.

The noise that reaches the municipality from the nearby Montreal park will have to be limited to an average of 65 decibels over a period of 15 minutes and 20 decibels for low frequencies.

In 2019, an agreement between Montreal and Saint-Lambert capped the noise at 75-80 decibels, but residents complained of the sound was still inducing stress and insomnia.

Saint-Lambert resident Marion Hill listened in on the virtual council meeting and was frustrated by the lack of detail the city shared about the deal.

"They didn't even publicly share the agreement with us. They didn't communicate it," Hill said.

The agreement with Evenko is valid until 2024, and also provides for a limit of 19 days for major events of over 20,000 spectators per day between May 1 and the first Monday of September. After July 1, there will be a maximum of 15 days of major events and they must end at 11 p.m..

For years, Saint-Lambert residents have complained that the music at events held at Parc Jean-Drapeau — such as Osheaga and ÎleSoniq — is too loud and is a nuisance for the community.

The conflict over sound levels has been dragging on since 2014, when Montreal's Ville-Marie borough, which includes Île Notre-Dame and Île Sainte-Hélène, lifted the fixed noise limits on concerts.

In 2018, the cities of Montreal and Saint-Lambert and the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau, the group that runs the park, installed machines to measure the decibel levels and collect data to be analyzed as part of a pilot project.

The three sound measuring devices were placed in Saint-Lambert, at Parc Jean-Drapeau and in front of the Habitat 67 near the Old Port.

Noise levels of 108 dB have been recorded at the concert site and a level of 68 dB was recorded at one residence in Saint-Lambert.

The World Health Organization considers noise above 55 dB to be "disturbing to sleep."