Noise complaints from lawn mowers ‘beyond privileged,’ says Oakville mayor

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Published August 12, 2023 at 9:00 am

While the sounds of lawn maintenance on weekends are part of every day life, the noise can irritate some. PEXELS PHOTO

The familiar noise fills up Oakville neighbourhoods on weekends.

For some, the sounds of people mowing their lawns or cranking up the grass trimmers can be irritating, for others like Oakville Mayor Rob Burton it’s a familiar, almost calming, sound that makes one feel right at home.

“I kind of like the sound Saturday morning when we’re all out there pulling our lawn (mowers),” Burton told inhalton.com’s Khaled Iwamura during the monthly video interview. “It feels like a real group exercise.”

Still there’s always that one neighbour who isn’t happy when someone cranks up that gas-powered motor in the middle of the day and it’s all they hear for the next 45 minutes or so.

“There are streets, believe it or not, where people hire people to look after their lawns rather than do it yourself,” Burton said. “The folks that do that come in and use their leaf blowers and their lawn mowers and on every street like that, we’re talking pretty high end streets, there’s one person who finds it outrageous that their peace and quiet can be disturbed by lawn maintenance.”

For Burton, the sounds of lawn mowers and weed whackers are just a regular part of life.

“I kind of liked pushing my gas-powered lawn mower up and down my grass,” he said. “It’s like a weekly Zen-like experience where you empty the mind and cut the straight paths and you’re done.

“You have this nice physical sense of completion and you give yourself a little pat on the back figuratively speaking and you get yourself a cool drink.”

Still the issue can be sticky one between neighbours and at times develop into deep resentment leading to noise complaints.

Can anything be done to make everyone happy?

“The idea that you can’t make any noise at all at any time of the day, strikes me as beyond privileged,” said the mayor. “I really don’t know how to answer that.”

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