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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, Dieppe park (former Cité-du-Havre park) and in the vicinity of residences in the city of Saint-Lambert.

Comments and complaints
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 clientele@parcjeandrapeau.com.

Sound measurements available online

The data collected by the Saint-Lambert level meter 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.

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. 

Please note that the City of Saint-Lambert does not offer technical support for the sound measurement website.

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

Concrete measures for 2019

Starting this summer, noise limits will be reinstated for events organized at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Following last year's positive experience with the City of Saint-Lambert and the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau, the members of the Ville-Marie borough council adopted this measure under an order governing events for the 2019 summer season.

With the exception of certain events authorized without noise limits, the maximum allowable pressure level will now be 75 dBA. For events whose contracts have already been signed, the limit will be 80 dBA. In addition to these ceilings, a low-frequency noise limit will have to be respected at all times.

In addition, the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau will continue to improve its complaint management system, and it will document events. This year will be particularly important as the new amphitheatre is set to host its first events. The performance of the nine delay towers installed on the site will be evaluated in order to better calibrate the sound according to events and weather conditions to reduce the transmission of noise beyond the islands.

Moreover, event promoters will be invited to take noise measurements both on and off the site. The borough's inspection team will also conduct spot checks during musical events.

Finally, among the mitigation measures being considered, Parc Jean-Drapeau’s managers would like to develop a better balance in the event programming at the park by hosting a diversity of year-round events and not just musical gatherings.

Comments

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 clientele@parcjeandrapeau.com.

Assessment of the 2018 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.