Monday, 4 August 2008

Fireworks in Muskoka

Cottage life sure has changed. We walked into town and saw a view of Lake Muskoka. The boat traffic is significant, but on a large lake it is diffused across broad shores. On our wee lake the noise, smell and irritation of the day at the marine end of things ever larger boats, or smaller boats with larger engines, and PWC that can carry a passenger, spotter and a couple of kids on a tube, life is crazy. One PWC seemed to race another while dragging kids around.

Yesterday, as I quietly paddled along the shore, I came across a van parked by the water. The doors were wide open and the radio continues in the night. With cranked up in order for the young people to hear the music 300 m away, out in the middle of the lake. Now, I am not opposed to rock music, but there is a time and place for it. I do resent others thinking it their right to create an explosion of sound in a place where the deafening noise of the city is our escape. The noise by-laws apply all day, something of which most people are unaware. The fireworks continued in the evening. Literally.

Our former renter/partiers were much quieter their final night, thankfully, except that there were other folks on the lake who do not seem to realize that this is where some of us live. We have need or want to go to bed before 11:00 p.m. , sometimes even at 9:30 when they run fireworks on a nightly basis. The peculiar thing is that it is not just adults running fireworks for children. The renters I wrote about the other day appeared to be late 20-somethings, wannabe teenagers, with no respect for neighbours. Setting off fireworks on municipal property on our mutual road. So much for one's ecological footprint. All of our pets shudder in fear under beds; cannot imagine how the wildlife feels.

The Me-Generation has raised a segment of their generation who believe it is their right to blow things up at night, to use the lake as their playground, burn damp wood dumping hydrofluorocarbons into the air, and generally do what they want in the freedom of nature. What is with this? I once offered my cottage to a dying friend as a place for some respite care and peace and quiet of the county. That would have been a mistake. I wonder, when our (light-sleeper) infant granddaughter arrives for a holiday whether this will have an impact on *her* sleep patterns. There are several neighbours on our lake who live and work in this area and have to rise early for this purpose. It is a long drive to their employment.

Taxpayers fight for reduced taxes, in an ever more crowded tourist area, and the privilege of allowing their 20 and 30-somethings scream around lakes at all hours, dumping gas, as well as septic system waste, into at-risk ecosystems. The precious balance of humans and nature is one I will watch closely. There are those, apparently filthy rich young people, given the freedom of staying in the cottage for the weekend, who expect that they can drive a couple of hours up here from Toronto, throw all manners to the wind, and behave as if their Muskoka property is party central. I look forward to the shoulder seasons, when there will be peace and quiet again. In fact, rather than being a snowbird, I would like to be sunbird, and escape to the city while city-folk pollute the air, water and soil.

1 comment:

rk said...

My wife and I have had issues with our recent neighbours. We rent our house, and the house next to us is also rented. We moved in one month before they did. We chose this area in Bala for the peace and quiet, everyone said this was a very quiet street, most people living on it are elderly.

We were somewhat put back, and nervous upon learning that our neighbours to be were recently graduated university students.

They moved in June 1st long weekend, we gave them leeway that weekend when they had a large group of people over and they created some unwanted noise. The next week, at 2:30AM we asked them to turn down their music as we could not sleep. A few days later, the same thing happened.

Slowly, these noise issues became greater, and also became more than just noise problems. We caught them urinating outside. They have 10-15 cars over, litter the streets not only with their bodies, but with beer bottles and cans. They hang out directly in front of our house, which is 15 feet from the road, with their car doors open and music blaring out.

One night I lost my temper, as I have to get up at 4AM, and the music got LOUDER at 11:20pm, and I went outside and screamed at the top of my lungs at them. The music immediately died down, and they went to the Kee, which they do every Monday night.

We did not see them for about 2 weeks after that. Well, it has gotten much worse again. Last weekend I called Sunday evening from work, and my wife was in tears. ONCE again, they had the music so loud she could not watch TV, all the windows in the house were closed, and so were several inside doors, to try to soften the noise. They were outside, an SUV parked directly in front of our house with the music blaring, drinking, smoking pot, cars nearly blocking the entire street. The land lord called the police, who came by (unfortunately they turned down the music literally 1 minute before the police arrived), and the policeman spoke with them briefly, and drove away smiling and waving at them.

The music was turned down immediately upon my arrival home. Other neighbours complained and also had to have their windows closed. I somehow missed the punk urinating on OUR flower beds as I walked from our driveway to our front door, having to walk past one other drunken punk to get there. My wife greeted me at the door. Luckily for them I myself did not see the urinator.

They once again left at 11:30 for the Kee. 1:20pm, music blared as we were about to go to bed. It lasted 5 minutes, 1:40, it happened again, lasted a bit longer this time. 2:00, my wife called the police, they never showed. We somehow managed to sleep, but other neighbours complained about being up till past 4AM with the noise from the neighbours.

Funnily enough, when I spoke with them one Thursday a few weeks ago (a couple of days after screaming at them, to try to rectify the situation), they said THEY were trying to be responsible, because they are running a landscape company. Their excuse for having our street littered every Monday night was so their employees had a place to stay, and not drive around drunk.

Well, my wife has seen ONE of the owners himself crack open a beer, get in the truck and drive off. Also arrive home one morning, in his underwear, singing, obviously still drunk. The other owner seems to be a little more responsible than the other. This is also the general take on these two from everyone we've spoken with.

I will not mention their company name, as I don't want to get sued from slander, although anyone in the Bala area can probably figure it our who I am, and who I am talking about, rather easily.

We have had enough, and so have our neighbours. I was literally shaking with anger for 3 days, and my blood gets easily boiled whenever I even see a car in their driveway. Whenever I come home, I tense up as I turn onto our street, wondering if it will be littered with cars and drunken, disgusting hooligans, once again.

This is a nightmare. I hope they keep true to their word that they are moving out as of September first. I also hope they have heard that they have pissed off a lot of people, and will not be stupid enough to have yet another one of their horrendously obnoxious parties. I feel sorry for their neighbours to where they are moving too next.

I also of course, worry about whom this place will be rented to next.

We read up on the noise by-laws in Bala. They are unfortunately very lax, for a region that should be all about peace and quiet, and relaxation.

Here is a link.
go to "your government" and then go to by-laws, and find the one for noise by-laws. I was disheartened after reading it.

A lot of by-laws are not limited to the 11pm-7AM rule. There is also a fine of up to 500,000.00 in some areas. Bala, unfortunately, is not so strict.

I can only hope our neighbours will not have any more of their drunken street parties anymore, before they move out.

Not only does it upset me that WE can't live without worrying about them, and having to barricade ourselves in, and look out the front to a sea of drunken 20 year olds and cars 15 feet from our house. It also upsets me a great deal that on the other side of their house is an elderly couple, running a business. Across the street is again, an elderly lady. People around the corner who are elderly also complained about them. They are affecting SO many people in a negative way, disrupting their way of life. They littered the street one night with beer bottles and cans, that THESE PEOPLE cleaned up after them! People walk by with babies and dogs, and shouldn't have to not walk down this street because they are afraid of these young drunk punks.

At the beginning of the summer, I met these two individuals and thought they were alright. I had my reservations about the one young fellow, but the other fellow seemed decent. Now, a short 2 and a half months later, I would never want to associate myself with them, and I would definitely give a negative review to their business, if asked.

Would YOU want drunken 20 year olds who urinate on the lawn, and leave beer bottles and cans all over, landscaping YOUR property?

Good riddance to them and their disgusting friends, once they do move out.