Loud music believed to be from a weekend rave at Cherry Beach draws noise complaints from residents across East Toronto

Cherry Beach is believed to be the location of a rave that went on until almost 5 a.m. on Sunday, June 2. Loud music from the event prompted numerous noise complaints to the city and Toronto police.

By ALAN SHACKLETON

Loud music from what is believed to have been a party on Cherry Beach on Saturday, June 1, that continued to approximately 5 a.m. the next morning, generated numerous complaints to city officials and Toronto police.

The event, believed to be organized by a group called Echelon, billed itself as an “unofficial” after party to the Boiler Room electronic music festival that had taken place earlier on June 1 at Woodbine Park. An Instagram post on an account called @Echelon.to said that the After Sunset Cherry Beach after party would be taking place from 11 p.m. on June 1 through to 7 a.m. on Sunday, June 2.

On the same @echelon.to post, the organizers said DJs Jaks, Chazzy, Bigs and Anthony J. would be taking those who came to Cherry Beach on “a journey of the styles of house music.” Which is pretty much what appears to have happened, and it apparently happened so loudly that noise complaints were coming in from as far east the Victoria Park Avenue and Queen Street East area and as far north as Danforth Avenue.

Residents were calling and complaining to the city and police through the early hours of Sunday morning as they struggled to comprehend where the loud music was coming from.

While some had initially said it was coming from the Boiler Room event at Woodbine Park, that was not the case. Boiler Room had a permit for its music festival to run until 11 p.m. on June 1 and complied with the city’s bylaws and did not extend beyond that time limit.

The party at Cherry Beach, however, apparently had no city permit and officials were not aware of it taking place until afterwards.

Though Cherry Beach is located in the ward of Toronto-Danforth, many residents had aimed their initial anger over the noise at Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford since they thought the loud music was coming from Woodbine Park.

Bradford told Beach Metro Community News earlier this week that he had received numerous complaints about the noise from Beaches-East York resident given that the sound had apparently travelled so far from Cherry Beach.

“The all-night noise from an illegal rave last Saturday night was unacceptable,” said Bradford. “I received text messages at 4 a.m. from residents who couldn’t sleep, and we received dozens of emails.”

He said he immediately reached out to city departments, Toronto police and the Boiler Room festival organizers regarding the complaints, but soon found out the noise was not coming from Woodbine Park.

“The event organizers and the bylaw officer who was onsite both assured me that the Boiler Room event was finished at 10 p.m. as scheduled, with the attendees leaving by 10:30 p.m.,” said Bradford.

The “unofficial” after party by Echelon, however, appears to have been another matter.

Bradford pointed out that any event organizer who receives a permit from the city would not dare to hold a party like the one that is believed to have taken place at Cherry Beach last weekend.

“Any permitted event operator knows they never be able to through an event again if they were to pull a stunt like this,” he said. “The overnight noise appears to have come from an illegal rave to the southwest.”

A number of people who called to complain about the noise to Toronto police or the city’s 311 line said they were extremely frustrated by what they perceived as a lack of action or even information about their concerns.

“I do not understand why, when individuals break our laws and subject thousands of people to egregious levels of noise, they would be allowed to do so without any intervention by authorities,” said one letter-writer to Beach Metro Community News earlier this week.

“It sends a signal that people who do not wish to obey the law can do whatever the hell they want, break whatever rules they want, and subject other people to stress and loss of sleep with no consequences. It also sends a signal to law-abiding citizens that the agencies they pay to enforce bylaws and ensure the safety and comfort of citizens have abandoned them and do not care about their needs,” said the letter-writer.

“People are rightfully frustrated that they call 311 with a noise complaint and told they’ll hear back in 10 days,” said Bradford.

“Especially with increasing property tax rates, people should expect improved service. I’ll be working with city staff, Toronto Police and my colleagues to ensure that all resources at our disposal are helping to prevent and shut down these types of disruptive late-night events.”

Toronto Police told Beach Metro Community News that callers with noise complaints are usually referred by police to the city’s 311 service. Loud noise from music is covered under city bylaws and is not considered to be a criminal matter.

However, if officers are available they can go to a noise call and politely ask for it turned down or off, but they don’t normally have legal authority to make arrests based just on loud noises. Police can take charge of a situation if “crowd-control” issues surrounding the source of the loud noise/music (such as a party) becomes a danger to public safety. Examples would be if traffic was impeded or those involved with the loud noise became aggressive or physical towards police.

Beach Metro Community News reached out online to echelon.to for a comment on the Cherry Beach event but had not received a response as of the afternoon of Wednesday, June 5.


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1 comments

Filing a noise complaint via 311 is useless, given the information required and the turn-around time to investigate. And it’s not a police matter. However an unlicensed event on public property with 25+ people in attendance and where alcohol is being consumed is a police matter.

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