When Anne Langdon moved into a rental home on a family-friendly, tree-lined Peterborough, Ont., street four years ago, she says she didn’t mind when her young neighbor would shoot hoops in his family’s driveway not far from her bedroom window.
But as the boy grew into a tall teenager, the sound of his basketball playing — which she said would go on for 20 to 40 minutes at a time — had the irritating effect of an “echo-chamber.” She complained to her neighbours, the Elliotts, who sympathized but said their son has a right to play basketball in his own driveway. To help dampen the sound and protect her window from being broken, the Elliotts’ handyman built a moveable wooden panel to roll in front of her window when their teenager, a promising basketball player, would practice his dunks. Ms. Langdon claims the panel was a deliberate move to block her natural sunlight.
She called her landlords, her city councillor, and city staff — they couldn’t help. She called the fire department and police — but nothing, she was told, could be done.
Now, Ms. Langdon — a writer who works from her home — has asked the Ontario environmental commissioner to investigate, drawing public attention to her plight by sending a press release to local media about what she calls the “city’s first investigation under Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights related to unreasonable and excessive noise.”