Quality sleep has been rare for many Tottenham residents living in Deer Springs.
A Canadian Pacific Railway crossing along the 3rd Line roughly 50 to 100 metres away from houses in the subdivision sounds its whistle multiple times a night, from 1 to 5 a.m.
A petition was created and circulated in Deer Springs last weekend requesting a whistle cessation that garnered nearly 50 signatures.
"It's just been a nightmare,” said Kevin Misner, Tottenham resident who lives in close proximity to the crossing. "I wear earplugs at night – it doesn't help."
Residents who signed the whistle cessation petition say they’re having a similar experience as their families struggle to get any sleep at all. One resident said they’ve been taking sleeping pills to cope with the noise.
Another person living near the crossing says they’re only able to sleep one to two hours each night and are terrified about driving their vehicle each morning without a full night’s rest.
Misner said there must have been a lack of oversight when the Town of New Tecumseth allowed the Deer Springs development to be built so close to a crossing last year.
"In my opinion, when you start building communities this close to railway lines, intersections and crossings, you have to start thinking about putting these [whistle cessation] things in place. It's a quality of life issue,” said Misner.
“How are people suppose to live here with the train that loud, right by their house? It's just ridiculous.”
Next Monday (August 24) Misner is delivering a presentation to New Tecumseth Council about Tottenham residents concerns over the 3rd line crossing.
Whistle cessations already exist in Bolton, Markham, Woodbridge, Brampton, Oakville, Milton, Pickering, Mississauga and other communities across Ontario.
“All we're asking for is the same sort of treatment here,” Misner said.
The issue has been brought forward to New Tecumseth Council in the past and investigated by Town Staff.
Two petitions were created three years ago requesting whistle cessations at 3rd, 4th and 5th Line crossings in Tottenham. One had 30 signatures while the other had over 40, however both efforts fell flat.
In consultation with CP Rail and Town Staff, New Tecumseth Council decided not to proceed with whistle cessations at that time.
Misner said he’s hoping the presentation and new petition will get Council to reconsider their past decisions.
Sam Odrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times