Umbrella Etiquette in Vancouver

Comments 18 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The topic of “Umbrella Etiquette” in Vancouver is a dead horse and I’m about to give it another kick. For years now bloggers have published their own “rules of umbrella use” for public spaces, streets, and walkways:

Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr

So yes, we’ve all had our share of umbrella etiquette posts, but mainsteam media’s caught up with us. News1130 has just posted their own rules for umbrella use, which echo previous statements and pet peeves:

1. Size DOES matter. Using a golf umbrella walking down Robson street will likely make you a few enemies.

2. Hold on tight. If the wind is blowin’ so is the brolly! Watch you’re not letting those pointy corners knock around your fellow pedestrians.

3. The awnings are off limits, especially is someone without one approaches. Seriously, you’ve got an umbrella.

4. The cross path ‘duck n’ lift’. Taller person raises, shorter person takes the low road.

5. Shake away from traffic. Tossing off the stowaway raindrops towards passersby only leads to awkward exchanges with your fellow man.

6. Use plain ol’ common sense. It goes a long way on a rainy day.

Any more to add to the many lists? Besides, if you’re a true Vancouverite, you’re skin and everything you wear is made of Goretex and you don’t even need to use an umbie…right? I’ll end by using a line from the Craigslist posting, “If these rules are not followed, then any fellow [Vancouverite] has the right to take your umbrella, patio or otherwise, and beat you with it.”

Update: A quote from this post appeared in the Vancouver Sun today, January 14, 2008 – here’s the article in PDF form.

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18 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Duane StoreyThursday, October 18th, 2007 — 3:51pm PDT

    I hate getting hit in the head with an umbrella.. You staying dry is less important than me keeping my eye.

  2. Keira-AnneThursday, October 18th, 2007 — 7:30pm PDT

    Maybe a bit bitchy, but I will bump into people on purpose on the sidewalk if they use a wide berth with their umbrellas or walk under the awning with a golf umbie. I have a friend who, quite literally, will grab an umbrella out of an offender’s hand and throw it down on the street.

  3. KeithThursday, October 18th, 2007 — 8:12pm PDT

    Thank you Duane! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    I remember having this exact problem while attending “Camp QE”

  4. TawcanThursday, October 18th, 2007 — 8:26pm PDT

    Umbrella? What is that? Gore-tex jacket is the way to go!

  5. AnonymousThursday, October 18th, 2007 — 9:18pm PDT

    When you get on a bus with a wet umbrella, make sure it doesn’t drip on fellow transit riders.

    And you’re right, I am a true Vancouverite. After yesterday’s down pour, I was at MEC today looking for a new jacket for the new season so I could do away with the umbrella.

  6. JenniferThursday, October 18th, 2007 — 10:44pm PDT

    Amen to the rules! I don’t understand why this isn’t common sense! It really shouldn’t have to be so difficult! Keira, I totally bump people who don’t obey the rules too. I usually go with a hood over an umbrella just to avoid extra conflict. I secretly love the rain and my pretty new rubber boots are going to be arriving any day now 🙂

  7. PatZThursday, October 18th, 2007 — 11:11pm PDT

    i once had someone with an umbrella like the Penguin from the old school Batman series stop and spin it like they were tying to hypnotize me. iiiiiiiiit was a little awkward.

  8. Andrew KumarFriday, October 19th, 2007 — 12:27am PDT

    Are hoodies out of fashion? Who needs an umbrella when you look like a thug =D

  9. fotoeinsFriday, October 19th, 2007 — 2:12pm PDT

    Learned from childhood:

    While walking through Chinatown, do not piss off a woman of smaller physical stature armed with an umbrella.

    Who needs a stinkin’ umbrella … bre … ella … brella …

  10. KeithSaturday, October 20th, 2007 — 1:02am PDT

    @Andrew: what? just scare off the raindrops? threaten to take their lunch money? 😛

    My other guideline is, unless it’s raining hard enough that water runs down my face and into my eyes… no ‘brolley needed.

  11. BC Brit – Mark Cannon blogSaturday, October 20th, 2007 — 10:47pm PDT

    […] take on the weather as well. More pics can be found at John’s site, and there’s also Rebecca’s thoughts on umbrella etiquette. This entry was posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2007 at 7:06 pm […]

  12. Miss604’s Canuck Life :: A Vancouver Blog » Blog Archive » He’s the One, Bright as the SunSunday, October 21st, 2007 — 4:07pm PDT

    […] mini weather rant since my umbrella post was so well received. What’s with people not turning on their lights when it’s dark and […]

  13. Miss604’s Canuck Life :: A Vancouver Blog » Blog Archive » Odds, Ends and Apple Store in VancouverMonday, November 26th, 2007 — 6:48pm PST

    […] Archive « Umbrella Etiquette in Vancouver Weekly Tech Girl […]

  14. Miss604’s Vancouver Blog » Blog Archive » Happy in VancouverFriday, January 25th, 2008 — 10:13am PST

    […] for a day, just while there’s no cloud cover overhead, that there be no complaining about umbrella etiquette, ICBC rates going up in the Valley, school closures in Surrey, or the aging eye-sore that is BC […]

  15. C.A.P.W.U.U.U.A.Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 — 12:51pm PDT


  16. Snow Etiquette in Vancouver » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittSaturday, December 20th, 2008 — 10:41am PST

    […] a year ago I did a post about umbrella etiquette and I think it’s time to share some information, laws, and common courtesies regarding snowy […]

  17. WaxySaturday, December 20th, 2008 — 12:24pm PST

    As much as I dislike carrying an umbrella (I’d rather carry a camera), I despise wearing a hood. So it is the lesser of two evils. Plus, a hood doesn’t protect a camera very well.

    I have one more umbrella no-no:

    Please close your umbrella when walking through a construction scaffolding!

  18. SarahThursday, October 29th, 2009 — 4:40pm PDT

    Another thing that should be added to umbrella etiquette; When your standing at the corner waiting to cross the road it is NOT ok to try to share someones umbrella with them – thats invasion of a personal bubble.

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