Life Getting Noisier for More Than a Quarter of Canadians

Three-in-ten respondents say they were bothered at home by unnecessary noise from vehicles over the past year.

Vancouver, BC [February 2, 2021] – More than one-in-four Canadians believe their surroundings are noisier now than they were a year ago, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 27% of Canadians say their city or town has become noisier over the past year.

Similar proportions of Canadians believe their home (28%) and their street (23%) are noisier now than they were a year ago.

Women (28%), Canadians aged 18-to-34 (33%), British Columbians (31%) and respondents of South Asian descent (36%) are more likely to feel that the city or town where they live is noisier now than in early 2020.

When asked about specific sounds that have bothered them at home over the past year, at least one-in-five Canadians mention unnecessary noise from vehicles (such as motorcycles and cars revving up) (30%), dogs barking (24%), loud people outside their home (20%) and car alarms (also 20%).

Fewer Canadians report being disturbed by 10 other noises at home: yard work (such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers) (19%), yelling or screaming at a nearby home (18%), loud music playing inside a vehicle (also 18%), power tools (such as electric saws and sanders) (also 18%), loud music at a nearby home (17%), fireworks (16%), a loud gathering or party at a nearby home (15%), drivers honking the horn excessively (12%), home alarms (9%) and cats meowing (5%).

“More than three-in-four Canadians aged 18-to-34 (78%) say that they were bothered by outside noises when they were at home,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportion drops to 65% among those aged 35-to-54 and 60% among those aged 55 and over.”

Over the past year, more than one-in-ten Canadians (12%) wore earplugs or earmuffs to mitigate noise while inside their home—including 19% of those aged 18-to-34 and 14% of Ontarians.

Smaller proportions of Canadians acquired hardware to mitigate noise while inside their home (such as noise cancelling headphones or earphones) (7%), reported noise concerns to the police (5%) or moved away from their previous home because of noise (4%).

Results are based on an online survey conducted from January 24 to January 26, 2021, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.