Residents frustrated over Union Pearson Express construction noise, damage

WATCH ABOVE: Toronto residents who live along the route of the Union Pearson Express say the noise from around-the-clock construction is out of hand, and some have even noticed damage to their properties due to the project. Cindy Pom reports.

TORONTO — It’s not his three-month-old son that keeps new father Steve Reble up at night — it’s the construction noise.

“That’s been really frustrating,” said Reble who moved into his MacDonell Avenue home with his wife one year ago.

During the day, he said the noise doesn’t get much better. As he relaxed in his Parkdale backyard directly overlooking the railway tracks, the Union Pearson Express (UP Express) test trains passed by about every 15 minutes Friday morning.

“We were told the sound walls would be put up before the trains officially launched and that’s not what has happened,” said Reble.

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Metrolinx, the company behind the airport-downtown rail link, originally aimed to have all noise cancellation walls in place when service begins June 6, a month before the Pan Am Games kick off July 10.

But the company now says only the noise walls that are required to launch UP Express will be completed on time. The additional noise walls, including in the MacDonell Avenue area, will be “delayed by harsh weather and also because some residents didn’t want certain trees cut down. So we had to stop work, regroup,” explained Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins.

READ MORE: Union Pearson Express corridor to cost Toronto nearly $100-million

Those noise walls will not be completed until late summer or fall.

Other residents in the Dundas and Lansdowne area claim their homes have been damaged because of the construction.

“Tiles are cracking. Foundations are cracking,” said Peter Zambrowicz who filed a claim in October worth $900 in structural damage to the interior of his home but said he hasn’t heard back yet.

But Metrolinx argues it regularly compensates residents in the form of money, hotel stays, free movie passes, and car washes.

“We are in the process of finalizing claims submitted over the winter and spring — the claims had to be assessed, of course. But we have processed claims where work in other areas has been done and paid out compensation over the years,” said Aikins.

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On Friday afternoon, Global News requested figures on how much the company has handed out in compensation but Metrolinx said it needs more time to compile the numbers.

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