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'Just leave me alone': After getting noise complaint, Saint-Denis bar asks mayor to back off

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A Montreal bar is making a lot of noise on social media after the city warned that it could face a hefty fine for being too loud.

Turbo Haus, a bar on Saint-Denis Street in the city's downtown nightlife and cultural district, shared a photo of a notice it received about a noise complaint on social media.

"Nice to know it's illegal to have des spectacles in the f---ing quartier des Spectacles," reads a post on the bar's Instagram page.

The notice from the city says the permits and inspections department received a complaint about a possible violation of the noise bylaw at the bar — which also puts on live shows — and that violators could face a fine between $1,500 and $12,000.

"The music coming from your business was clearly audible from the immediate residential area," the notice read. "It is your responsibility to stop the nuisance immediately."

Warning: The post below contains language that might be offensive to some readers. 

In a series of posts on the X platform, the bar lamented it has already taken steps to prevent noise complaints, such as renting the two apartments above the bar at a cost of $3,200 per month to "offer a buffer to the other apartments" and spending "most of our budget" on soundproofing.

The bar used to be located in the city's Saint-Henri neighbourhood but opened its doors on Saint-Denis Street five years ago in a space zoned explicitly for nightlife venues.

In a video posted on Instagram, Turbo Haus co-owner Sergio Da Silva pleaded with Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante to give him a break.

"Just let me do the thing that you said — and the people who work for you said — we're allowed to do," he said, referring to the zoning issue. "Just leave me alone. I'm not even asking anything from you. Just leave me alone."

Turbo Haus, a bar on St. Denis Street, received a noise complaint warning that it could face a fine of up to $12,000 for being too loud. (Cosmo Santamaria/CTV News)

The nightlife district has seen venues close their doors for various reason in recent years.

In 2018, Divan Orange on Saint-Laurent Boulevard shut down after a series of noise complaints.

Just down the street from Turbo Haus, metal venue Co-Op Katacombes closed in January 2020 after 13 years of operation, citing the high cost of rent and business taxes.

CITY SAYS IT'S THE FIRST NOISE COMPLAINT

Reached late Monday evening, a city spokesperson told CTV News via e-mail this is the first time Turbo Haus has received a noise complaint, but they could not reveal who filed the grievance due to privacy reasons.

"This is an initial notice, the purpose of which is to work with the owner to find solutions to rectify the situation," the e-mail stated. "The noise control technician and the Ville-Marie borough are in contact with the tenant to help him take the appropriate steps. Please note that the owner will be given a reasonable amount of time to make any necessary adjustments."

The city adds that it offers a subsidy program for bars, providing up to $100,000 in financial aid to soundproof their venues.

"The Ville-Marie borough is committed to commercial vitality and wishes to support the merchants and venue owners who are an integral part of the district's DNA," the spokesperson added. "The cultural vitality of the metropolis and downtown is an asset that must be preserved. Of course, the borough believes that this must be done by making its arteries attractive to residents and viable for those who promote and present the culture for which Montreal is famous."

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