NEWS

Hydro-Québec noise barrier will block sun for east end residents

11/06/2014 10:44 EST | Updated 01/06/2015 05:59 EST
People living in a row of houses in Montreal's east end are looking on powerlessly as Hydro-Québec begins construction on a six-metre high wall, steps from their backyards.

Residents on Parthenais Street say the wall is a poor solution to the consistent noise coming from the DeLorimier electrical sub-station right next to their properties.

Neighbours say the irony is they brought up the noise issue in the first place, but now Hydro-Québec is addressing it by creating another problem.

The Hydro-Québec property already sits two metres higher in elevation than the adjacent back yards, according to local resident IrinaEntin.

Once the wall is added, residents are concerned they'll be living in its shadow for long parts of the day.

“It’s going to be taller than our house,” Entin told CBC’s Daybreak. “The shadow [from the wall] is going to cover our entire row of houses.”

Wall will create many negative impacts, residents say

Because of the long shadow, Entin said she won’t be able to prepare seedlings for the local community garden.

“We’ll have to pay, ironically, more for hydro as well to heat our house in the winter without any sun coming in,” Entin said.

Entin said Hydro-Québec only held one meeting with residents in June outlining plans to mitigate the noise.

She said plans to build the wall were approved without any more consultation.

Hydro-Québec said the facility is vital to supplying electricity to the east end, but the transformers are running at full capacity and the fans need to be replaced.

"There are no other possible solutions,” said Hydro-Québec spokesman, Jean-Philippe Rousseau. “If we made a lower wall, we wouldn't get the same level of [noise] reduction.

Rousseau said the Ville-Marie borough signed off on the solution.

Hydro-Québec said the sound barrier will remain until 2017 when work on the substation will be completed.

Entin believes there are other solutions that Hydro-Québec is refusing to consider.

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