West Toronto residents say they are completely exhausted after a so-called nightclub opens at the foot of their condominium.
Loud music, a pounding base and rattling noise are just three of the top complaints some residents of 801 King Street West, located near Niagara Street, have made to settlement officials in recent weeks. They say that in June a new establishment opened its doors in a commercial space on the ground floor of their building, and that a few times a week, they are thus subjected to sleepless nights.
Bei Sun has lived on the third floor of 801 King Street for about 10 years. She said she never had any noise issues until a few months ago when all of a sudden loud music started blasting at 1am.
“I heard this kind of heavy dancing and the electric vibes,” Sun told CTV News Toronto. “My window, I heard noise, so I call security, they said there’s a bar downstairs they’re opening.”
Sun said the loud music continued week after week, making it almost impossible to fall asleep. Employed in a CHSLD, she often works weekends, the same evenings when the establishment is open.
“I can’t rest,” she said, adding that she had to call in sick from lack of sleep.
“It’s these heavy bass music, it goes in your mind, in your heart. It makes you hyper. You can’t sleep in the middle of the night.
Sun is one of many residents who called 311 and had by-law officers come to her unit to measure the noise. But so far, no action has been taken.
The establishment downstairs from the condo is called Hyde Social. Their website has conflicting hours of operation, with one area promoting a Monday-Friday 3-6pm happy hour, while also stating on the same website that they are open Wednesday-Saturday between 10pm and 3 a.m.
Their Instagram account also says they are open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while promoting bottle service and guest lists. The video shows large groups of people dancing and taking pictures while DJs play music in the background.
In response to CTV News Toronto’s investigation, a spokesperson for Hyde Social said the business operates as a licensed restaurant and bar, with a full kitchen serving food and drink.
“We strive to be good neighbors and as such, when we were made aware of noise concerns, we hired an accredited sound company who performed a full analysis of our operations. It has been confirmed that our operations meet the permitted noise levels prescribed by municipal regulations,” they said.
“We are also in contact with by-law officers to discuss the matter and will work with them to ensure that we comply with all by-laws.”
Angeline Putnickovich had purchased a unit at 801 King Street with her sister in May. At the time, the space now occupied by Hyde Social was closed and its estate agent said they were not sure what was going on in the space, but it could be a restaurant.
She told CTV News Toronto that she was “gutted” when she spent her first night in the condo on Canada Day and was kept awake by loud music.
“It really felt like I was in the nightclub,” Putnickovich said, adding that it wasn’t just the music, but the sound of an air horn and the heavy base that rocked his unit. from the second floor.
“There’s no way anyone can sleep through this,” she said. “If it’s like that every weekend or even…especially Wednesday, Thursday for the whole working week. I don’t know what I’m going to do.
The City of Toronto confirmed that it had received three complaints about Hyde Social in June 2022 and was “investigating to determine if it had the appropriate business license”.
“This is an active investigation and we are unable to provide further information at this time,” a spokesperson said in an email.
The company has a “catering establishment” license, according to a commercial license search.
A catering establishment is widely considered a restaurant, cafe, bar or pub with seating for customers. A nightclub or entertainment establishment is defined as a place in which there is a dance hall for customers and where there is no seating for most customers. The food or drink is offered “as an accessory”.
Spadina-Fort York alderman Joe Mihevc told CTV News Toronto he’s not sure if zoning rules allow a nightclub to be on the ground floor of a boardroom in condominiums, but that there were requirements in terms of noise and general behavior when within a residential area.
He urged residents to continue to contact 311 with any concerns or complaints, as it is the only real avenue available to them from the city’s perspective. However, he also acknowledged that enforcing municipal complaints by-laws is a much slower process than one involving the violation of a criminal statute.
“Before they sue, if they decide to go to court, they have to build a case,” he said. “They are also trying to work with the property or owner, whatever the case, to rectify the situation.”
“What we really want is for the people running businesses to be successful and to do it the right way.”
“We’re not looking to close the business, we want to make sure they follow all the regulations, so we would give them time to rectify that.”
Toronto real estate attorney Bob Aaron suggests the condo tenants band together and pursue further legal action through their board of directors.
“They can issue a request for the music to stop at 1 a.m. because there is a requirement for peace and quiet in the building,” he said.
“I think the condo board has a lot of power and the city has a lot of power, which they may or may not use, and I think the law is on the side of the residents.”
NO NIGHTCLUB NOISE
Sabrina, another resident of 801 King Street West, is part of a group called No Nightclub Noise, which was formed in response to another business in the area which they say is also causing sleepless nights and anxiety. . The group started a petition after months of trying to deal with the facility through city channels, such as calling 311 or contacting their local councillor.
“Obviously there is noise from life on King Street, trams, traffic etc. But I never had any issues with noise from nightclubs until February 25 this year,” said Sabrina.
It was around this time that Pizza Wine Disco opened at 788 King Street West. Residents allege it is a nightclub “passing” as a restaurant. They complained of loud music until 3 a.m., large groups of people flooding the streets and customers regularly trespassing on neighboring properties to urinate.
Sabrina has lived at 801 King Street for around 15 years and said she has never had a problem with the area before, even when a pub was open in the location currently used by Hyde Social.
“It doesn’t just affect our building. It affects several buildings in the neighborhood,” she said.
Videos tagged Pizza Wine Disco, posted on instagram and ICT Tac, shows a crowded bar with people dancing on tables, as well as customers sitting enjoying pizzas and drinks. They also have a specific “nightlife” site in which customers can request bottle service.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Pizza Wine Disco (PWD) said they never used a DJ and never played music outside of its opening hours, which operate from 5 p.m. 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
“The City of Toronto has confirmed that PWD is in compliance with all municipal bylaws, including those relating to noise levels. Our staff perform regular and frequent decibel readings and we have installed noise limiters on the sound system to ensure continued compliance,” they said.
“The fact that PWD is a self-contained building means that we are able to effectively monitor and control the volume emanating from the premises. We also have a significant security presence and increased signage outside to ensure customers do not cause excessive noise when entering or leaving the facility.
The spokesperson insisted that PWD is “not a nightclub” and that it “has no dance floor or guest list and does not charge a ‘cover fee/ entry”.
“PWD has gone above and beyond to solidify itself as a productive and respectful member of the community. The vast majority of our neighbors happily support our operations and have become regular customers.
Farat Farrokhi lives in a townhouse right next to the disabled and says he is now considering moving due to the stress the situation is causing him. He has lived in the area for nine years and told CTV News Toronto that the restaurant’s alley is right next to his room. He said he heard loud music and after closing, customers tended to hang around, talk loudly and urinate or vomit on his property.
He complained to 311 and contacted various politicians at all levels of government, but when Hyde Social moved into the area he had had enough.
“I have an appointment with my estate agent tomorrow. I’m just thinking about leaving. And it’s not the right time for me to do that,” he said.
He is not the only one. Sabrina also considers leaving the neighborhood she loved.
“The bylaws, the tools we have for that are supposed to protect us, they’re really very biased towards the company,” she said. “There’s nothing about them that actually gives us any way to grapple with the fact that there was a nightclub in an apartment building, in an apartment block.”
“It’s a sad awakening.”