A concerned resident has requested that Gravenhurst council address the “recurring excessive noise pollution issue every summer” made by a nearby summer camp.
Janell Speers brought the issue to the Oct. 21 Committee of the Whole meeting on behalf of herself and neighbours around the area of Camp Shalom, located at 1110 Brydon’s Bay Rd, Gravenhurst. The camp celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2018 and now hosts 235 campers in each of two sessions and employs a staff of 95.
Speers cited recent additions to Town by-laws this past summer, that “noise is recognized in the form of pollution under the Environmental Protection Act of 1990. In addition, it states that noise pollution has a negative impact on the quality of life for Gravenhurst residents every summer. This is true,” Speers said.
“Camp Shalom has a music speaker system with multiple outdoor speakers spread throughout the property that directly impacts residents. Every summer this system emits persistent, recurring, excessive amplification off and on for two months. This July alone, the camp played excessive loud music and staff talking on speakers…for 18 out of 31 days,” explained Speers.
“It has had a negative impact on the enjoyment of our property as well as our neighbours, due to this loud music and sometimes before 8a.m., with windows closed, we are woken up and after 11p.m. on many occasions in addition to the daytime noise pollution,” she told council. Speers also noted that Brydon’s Bay is also home to an ecosystem including many native species such as deer, bears and that the National Parks Service says that “noise pollution interferes with animal breeding sites and increases the extinction of some species.
Speers quoted several other sections of the same by-law, including that the Town “desires to preserve the peace and quiet of Gravenhurst through reduction, control and prevention of loud and excessive noise” and that “no person shall cause or permit the emissions of noise…which is likely to disturb peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or inconvenience.” She also referenced a specific section which prevents the use of electronic sound equipment, loudspeakers or instruments except at certain venues.
The neighbours of Camp Shalom have tried multiple times to work with the director and other staff to asking for the music to be turned off or at the very least turned down, Speers said. She said that they have even asked “to have a meeting to find a compromise and the answer, and I quote, was ‘no, there are five weeks left and we will do what we want, when we want.’”
Speers said that many neighbours have made official complaints have been made over multiple summers and they had spoken to by-law officers. “We were told to record each time the music and the loudspeakers were in excess. A few weeks later, we were told not to file any more complaints, but just keep noise journals, so we did.”
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