Montreal noise complaints divan orange

UPDATE: Divan Orange’s noise saga

We spoke to the Plateau music venue’s manager about how their ongoing, extremely expensive battle with the tenants upstairs has progressed this week.

noise complaints Montreal divan orange

By now you’ve probably heard about the latest music venue to be hit by noise complaints in Montreal. It was reported last week that Divan Orange (4234 St-Laurent) had been the unlucky recipient of $10,000 in fines, due to complaints from the only other tenant in the building.

The tenant in question was named and called out by Urbania magazine, and further vilified on social media, but Divan Orange director-general Carolyne Normandin wants all that to end, hoping for a speedy resolution that will make all parties happy.

“Yes, she is my problem,” Normandin says, referring to “Micheline,” “but I am her problem, too. We don’t want to have a war around this.”

The conflict between Divan Orange and the couple two storeys up began when the tenants on the second floor (a band who didn’t care about show noise) vacated in October. Noise that had previously been insulated by the band’s furnishings and belongings began to travel up to the third floor, and those tenants started calling the police. Every day.

“Last Friday, volunteers came by to help us with soundproofing on the second floor,” Normandin explained. “We reinstalled our old subwoofer, which is less powerful, we put up heavy curtains everywhere to muffle the noise, we did all kinds of little things, but it’s impossible to stop the noise — we have shows every night. [The tenants are] just tired of living above a bar, and I understand that, but I’m not going to quit all activities because of that.”


As the venue was working on soundproofing last week, Plateau borough councillor Christine Gosselin — who I spoke to for Cult MTL‘s February cover story about Plateau bars and noise complaints in Montreal — contacted the disgruntled tenants to propose that they refrain from making further complaints until a mediation meeting between all three parties takes place on Dec. 1. But, according to Normandin, the cops were called again that very night (Friday, as the venue was hosting the M for Montreal festival.)

“The next day, [Gosselin] went to their apartment during a show to hear the noise for herself, and to talk to the tenants about finding a solution — she’s really nice, she’s helping us a lot,” Normandin says. “The day after that, the couple called the borough office and said they would plan to move, that that was the best long-term plan. Now I’m working for [the tenants], I’m actually looking for apartments and contacting moving companies. I want to help. I want everyone to be happy as quickly as possible.”

In the meantime, says Normandin, the couple  upstairs is still calling the police, “literally every day.” And every time the cops show up at Divan Orange and hear the noise from the street outside, they hand the venue a $1,250 fine. At this point, the venue owes $15,000.

“They’re just doing their jobs,” she says.


Divan Orange has been here before. Back in 2008, a neighbour behind the venue, on Clark, made a number of complaints to the police, but after the stage was re-insulated, the problem was solved.

One irony in this case is that the conflict would have resolved itself in the months to come. Divan will soon expand to rent out the building’s second floor for offices to be occupied by their own Centre de diffusion des arts et musiques emergentes, as well as the offices of collaborating companies such as MEG Montreal and Indie Montreal. And as with the second floor’s previous tenants, these offices will absorb the noise from downstairs. ■

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