Signs appear complaining about loud frat parties in the Annex neighbourhood

A resident of Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood is apparently irate about a local frat house being noisy. The person went as far as posting noise notices in the U of T area, stating that the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, a Jewish fraternity, at Madison Avenue has “shown nothing but total disrespect towards their neighbours, tenants, seniors[,] and property owners in our once quiet neighbourhood. Members have failed to honour their own fraternity’s pledge or polic[i]es.”

Another sign simply gives the fraternity’s name and address next to the words “Loud Parties”, while another has the fraternity name crossed out.

In a post shared earlier this month to Nextdoor, a social networking service for neighborhoods, someone posted a picture of the signs and asked about their origins.

“Anyone know the backstory behind these signs? Not affiliated with them, I’m just nosy,” the user wrote.

The comment generated much discussion, with some claiming that frat houses have always made noise.

“[T]he frat houses have been there for YEARS! The kids will party and continue to party… I think the boomer who put that sign up should go listen to the Beastie Boys I think that’s from their generation ‘fight for your right to partyyyy'” one person noted.

“I was wondering if there was something specific that this frat did to warrant a poster that the other frats haven’t done. (I have no connection to any frats I am just a horrifically curious person),” another user  responded.

In 2021, Streets of Toronto reported on similar noise complaints directed at t of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Rita Bilerman, at that time the chair of the Annex Residents’ Association, observed that a handful of fraternities have disturbed the neighbourhood of decades.

“City police have bigger fish to fry,” she said, for this 2021 article. “These houses get free rein and … unless there is a violent situation happening, [police] won’t come.”

One user stated that another fraternity on George St. was “the worst offender in the Neighbourhood” when it comes to noise, adding that he could sympathise with the Madison Ave. situation, noting that “they don’t care about the rest of the neighbourhood at all – those who have kids and have to work for a living. They just keep people up all night over and over and nothing anyone says or does works. 311 goes to talk to them and they don’t improve. They don’t care, and there aren’t any real consequences for them anymore. It is awful to live nearby, and thousands of people in mid and high rises do live nearby.”

The post also led to a discussion about city bylaws pertaining to noise.

According to the city, noise can’t be unreasonable and persistent. “Unreasonable noise” is any noise that would disturb the peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort, or convenience of a reasonable person and does not include commonplace household or workplace sounds. “Persistent noise” is any noise that is continuously heard for 10 minutes or more or intermittently over a period of one hour or more.

The city also notes that Bylaw enforcement officers don’t respond to demonstrations, noisy parties, or noise from people acting disorderly, such as yelling, screaming, and fighting. To report these types of noise, Torontonians have to call the Toronto Police Service non-emergency number at 416-808-2222.

Specific noise regulations Torontonians should look out for include the following:

– Amplified sounds (e.g., music from bars or concerts) are measured by bylaw enforcement officers using sound meters and compared against the standards as identified in the bylaw.

– Persistent noise from any animal is not permitted (complaints are enforced by Toronto Animal Services).

– Construction noise isn’t permitted from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., except until 9 a.m. on Saturdays, and all day Sunday and statutory holidays.

– Noises when loading and unloading (loading, unloading, delivering, packing, or unpacking containers/packages) aren’t permitted from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., except until 9 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and statutory holidays.  This doesn’t apply to noise made in connection with the delivery of goods to retail business establishments, restaurants, hotels, waste collection, etc.

As one Nextdoor user pointed out, if talking to the noise perpetrators doesn’t work, there are other more subtle ways to get them to listen.

“When I had trouble with the students next door, I told them I would be blaring Opera at 6am. They stopped.”

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO