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Noise from events held at Parc Jean-Drapeau

The Borough of Ville-Marie, the City of Saint-Lambert and the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau recently established a new collaboration to improve the quality of life of residents affected by noise from events held at Parc Jean-Drapeau. A steering committee and a technical committee composed of representatives from the three jurisdictions have been set up. Their main mandate will be to identify better noise management solutions for 2019.

For this year, three sound level meters were installed at the following locations: Parc Jean-Drapeau, in the borough near Habitat 67 and in the vicinity of residences in the city of Saint-Lambert.

End of the pilot project for the 2018 season
The sound measurements of this pilot experience will end with the event season on September 30. Then, there will be extraction and analysis of data and writing of a report that will be published in November.

The data posted on the Surveillance acoustique des événements musicaux du parc Jean-Drapeau website will remain accessible until the end of 2018.

Assessment of the pilot project

Following a first collaboration, the City of Saint-Lambert, the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau and the Ville de Montréal are giving a positive assessment of the pilot project for the management of noise during events held in Parc Jean-Drapeau last summer. The recommendations for the 2019 season made by the cities of Montréal and Saint-Lambert and the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau are to: 

  • Continue the tripartite collaboration and keep the steering and technical committees active;
  • Adopt more detailed orders for amplified events at Parc Jean-Drapeau, which include rules on noise limits and any other relevant matters, such as the duration of events, and adapt them according to the seasons;
  • Get event promoters to measure noise on and off site and take the necessary measures to correct any non-compliant situations as soon as possible;
  • Take regular noise measurements on and off site, both on the site governed by the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau and in the municipalities;
  • Find a better balance in the event programming at Parc Jean-Drapeau;
  • Continue efforts with partners, event promoters and the university health and research community to mitigate the impact of low frequencies;
  • Consider the work of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) in preparing the draft master plan for the planning and development of Parc Jean-Drapeau;
  • Collaborate in the process initiated by the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership (PQDS) to develop sound indicators and 3D modelling;
  • Collaborate with ETS researchers mandated by an interdepartmental committee to develop a guide for municipalities to plan and manage outdoor recreational activities identified as noisy;
  • Comply with the Government of Québec’s legislative framework that will be developed to govern noise management in municipalities.

The results list the sound data for four different events along with two other days for comparison purposes. The average sound levels recorded during these events thus varied between 75 dBA and 86 dBA at Parc Jean-Drapeau and between 51 dBA and 54 dBA in Saint-Lambert.

Consult the assessment (in French) by clicking here.


Sound measurements available online

The data collected by these three sound level meters is available to the public at the following site: Surveillance acoustique des événements musicaux du parc Jean-Drapeau (Acoustic monitoring of musical events in Parc Jean-Drapeau) (site in French). 

On the site, you can:

  • view real- or deferred-time sound measurements over two periods of the day (between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and between 7 p.m. and midnight).
  • view and download one-day sound measurement graphs from the three measured locations.

The website will allow the committees to better analyze the noise and its effects, and, if necessary, to plan adjustments to be made to better control the noise coming from concerts in the park. 

What is environmental noise? 

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines environmental noise as noise from all sources with the exception of workplace noise. Noise is defined as any sound or set of sounds considered unwanted because it disturbs or is likely to have adverse effects on health.

Noise has three important physical characteristics:

1. Frequency (high or low tone)

  • expressed in hertz (Hz);
  • the frequencies heard by humans range from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz;
  • noise is generally composed of several frequencies;

2. Intensity (weak or loud sound) 

  • expressed in decibels (dB);
  • noise intensity (sound level) corresponds to larger or smaller pressure variations in the ambient air.

3. Duration (continuous, intermittent or impulsive sound [such as impact noise])

Exposure to noise depends on the distance between the noise source and the person, as well as factors that influence its velocity:

  • the physical environment in which it is produced;
  • topography;
  • weather conditions.

Environmental noise is measured with a sound level meter. Noise levels, based on a logarithmic scale, are generally reported in A-weighted decibels (dBA), the metric adopted for public health interventions. Weighting is a filter that simulates what the human ear hears.

To know more

Looking ahead to 2019

With the construction of the new amphitheatre by the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau, sound mitigation measures will be put in place to better manage the impacts of noise from music events. Among them, the installation of delay towers in the park will make it possible to better calibrate sound according to events and weather conditions. The Société du parc Jean-Drapeau took the opportunity to present this project  at the citizens’ meeting organized by the steering committee held in Saint-Lambert at the end of June.

In the meantime, the measures implemented this summer will help all three parties better assess the impacts of sound on residential neighbourhoods. Ultimately, the goal is to better manage and control noise, and guarantee a better quality of life for citizens on both sides of the river.


At any time, citizens are invited to submit their comments about noise by calling the Parc Jean-Drapeau customer service department by phone at 514 872-6120 until 9 p.m. on show nights, or by email after 9 p.m. at

Please note that Parc Jean-Drapeau does not offer technical support for the sound measurement website.