The arrival of warmer weather heralds the ability to open windows and doors and spread wings into the great outdoors. Listening to the sounds of nature is the wonderful reward of living in our area. Unfortunately, unless we live in the depths of the countryside, even there sometimes, noise pollution often drowns out the pleasant sounds. Lawn mowers, chain saws, dogs barking, loud music, construction, faulty mufflers and motor bikes all now come into play. The advantage of living in the country versus the city should mean that we know our neighbours and can have a dialogue with them.

If we use common courtesy and try to avoid making excess noise at times when neighbours are sleeping or enjoying a quiet barbecue or drink on their patio, this will go a long way to a peaceful co-existence. Of course, there are times when grass or tree cutting needs to be done after work or on a day when it is not raining, but awareness of one’s neighbours will go a long way to living in harmony and enjoying the pleasures of summer living.

If you are planning a party, it is always a smart and courteous idea to advise those living nearby and maybe even invite them. Then they can only be upset if the noise persists too late or these parties happen too frequently.

Screaming children in swimming pools or on the beach is another unnecessary sound of summer since, ideally, screaming should be reserved for when a child is really in trouble. Motor boats roaring away from the wharf with engines and radios blaring also destroys the peace and quiet for others.

TBL bylaw 615 makes it illegal for anyone to do any construction work or use motorised equipment such as a lawn mower, at night between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. The same bylaw forbids “excessive noise” like screaming, fighting or any behaviour that will bother neighbours or passers-by at any time. For those disturbances that cannot be resolved amicably with a peaceful solution, citizens can call the SQ responsible for the application of the bylaw at 450-266-1122, and lodge a complaint.

Sometimes the mere arrival of an SQ officer can focus minds. Basically, the exercise of one’s rights stops when someone else’s rights are trampled upon.

Common courtesy and being aware of others is the ultimate and peaceful way for us all to enjoy our wonderful neighbourhood this summer.

An amicable chat with your neighbour is often all that’s needed to avoid future problems.