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Noise and odour are frequent sources of neighbourhood disputes. Sometimes those disputes can be resolved by turning to regulators, such as the Ministry of the Environment or municipal bylaw enforcement officers. Often, however, that isn’t enough. Some then turn to the courts.

For example, Braeside Ridge residents are suing for $25,000 in damages due to noise and odour from a local asphalt plant. Ecojustice Canada is representing the residents, who filed a private lawsuit for damages for nuisance and trespass against Smiths Construction Company, a division of The Miller Group Inc., operators of the Braeside Quarry. The plaintiffs allege that they have suffered adverse effects, including physical discomfort and loss of enjoyment of their properties as a result of the operation of a portable asphalt plant situated in the quarry since 2009, even though the plant has a permit from the Ministry of the Environment. Residents have been protesting the expansion of the quarry for years. If they succeed, similar lawsuits may follow in other communities suffering from excess noise.


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