British Columbia

Missing floor numbers soon a thing of the past in Vancouver

Missing unlucky floor numbers will soon be a thing of the past in Vancouver, for safety reasons.

The City of Vancouver is cracking down on builders who leave out unlucky floor numbers

Welcome back, 13 and 4 — missing floor numbers in Vancouver condo and office towers will soon be a thing of the past.

The city is cracking down on developers that leave out floor numbers considered unlucky.

The number 13 has long been considered unlucky in western cultures, and the numbers 4, 14 and 24 are often shunned because the word 'four' sounds like Cantonese words and phrases involving death.

City staff say new rules mean every new building will now have every floor.

Developers will no longer be allowed to skip floors because they are considered unlucky in B.C. (CBC)

"Different societies have different favourite or different non favourite numbers, so we're really just trying to have a level playing field for everybody, " said Pat Ryan, chief building officer for the City of Vancouver.

Feelings are so strong about unlucky numbers many people change their house numbers, Ryan said.

Ryan says fiddling with the figures leaves everyone confused — most importantly paramedics and firefighters.

"It's really a safety issue we're concerned about," said Rick Cheung, Vancouver's assistant fire chief.

Real estate agents notice some buyers avoid the number four, but are more concerned about floor plans.

"I think they will still buy it. I don't think [number four] is the main issue," said Grace Kwok, longtime Vancouver agent.

But there is no plan to reinstate the ill-fated integers in existing buildings, the city said. Towers missing floors 4, 13 or 24 will remain the same.


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