By Laura Armstrong, Ottawa Citizen
OTTAWA — Holmwood Avenue resident Dennis Brock says he and his neighbours are experiencing a sensory torture chamber as near constant construction across the street at Lansdowne Park enters a second year of an estimated four-year project.
"It's horrible, but there's not much we can do. It's noisy, it's dusty, it's intrusive. It's your worst nightmare in terms of living in a neighbourhood," said Brock, who has lived on Holmwood with his wife, Darlene, for 10 years,
About 30 houses are located a street-width away from Lansdowne Park on the stretch of Holmwood east of Bank Street. An approximately three-metre construction hoarding covered in paintings and graffiti has been the only barrier for residents facing the construction site since work began in early June last year.
The hoarding provides no relief for Holmwood residents from a "living hell" of unrelenting noise, dust, vibrations and smells, said Brock's neighbour, Robert Martin. He said he and his partner, Danica Robertson, have been notifying Marco Manconi, the City if Ottawa's manager, design and construction — Lansdowne, about work continuing outside of bylaw-approved hours once or twice a week for six or eight months, but receive only "patronizing, paternalistic pats on the head" in response.
"There are many cases where what the city says and what the contractor does are completely divergent and, it seems at times, the contractors are going ahead with what they need to regardless of noise bylaws," said Martin.
In March, an amendment to the bylaw that deals with the rezoning of Lansdowne Park allowed contractors to continue work on concrete-related activities until 1 a.m. during the week until the project is complete. A limited amount of 24-hour continuous concrete pours during the week were also exempted, left to the discretion of the general manager of infrastructure services Wayne Newell. All other work must be done during regular construction hours, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. If bylaw hours are not obeyed, contractors could face a daily fine of up to $10,000.