Umbrella Etiquette for the Rainy Season in Kitsilano




Our wet winters bring something more ominous than Vancouver’s dark rain clouds; umbrellas – or the people brandishing them. Everyday we walk along Kitsilano’s main arteries, such as West 4 Avenue and West Broadway, and we constantly dodge prolific sandwich boards, dogs on leashes, and crowds of people. Add umbrellas to the mix and this can make a pleasant stroll a frustrating soggy walk.

To avoid umbrella rage, follow these tips for a refresher on some basic road rules:

To lift or tilt, that is the question
When walking on a crowded street, be ready to adjust the level of your umbrella to accommodate others. Kindly lift your umbrella to avoid poking out other pedestrian’s eyes. A tilt will suffice too; tip your umbrella away from the person you are passing.

Yield the awning
It’s considered a courtesy to not walk under awnings with your umbrella up. Let the poor sodden sods who forgot their umbrellas walk under the awnings while you stay on the rain-exposed parts of the sidewalk. If you’re stuck under the awning, either close your umbrella or do the lift/tilt (see above).

Go big? Then stay home
Oversize or golf umbrellas should never be used on crowded sidewalks. They are big for a reason; they’re meant to shield golfers from the rain or the sun. Do everyone a favour and keep them at home or in your golf bag.

The tap and close
When entering a restaurant, a shop or boarding a bus, close your umbrella and shake it off before you enter. Tap your umbrella on the sidewalk a few times. This removes extra moisture and might help someone avoid slipping in your puddle.

Park your umbrella
When inside a shop or restaurant, place your umbrella in the stand that is designated for umbrellas. Nobody appreciates the pools of water that follow people who don’t use the receptacles.

Borrow or share
If you must borrow an umbrella, be sure to return it. This isn’t a problem for UBC as it’s home to umbraCity, Vancouver’s first umbrella share program. The company will be analyzing the results of this pilot program and hopefully it will expand its service across Vancouver.

Not everyone knows the rules so try and be patient with your fellow pedestrians who may not be umbrella savvy. Stay dry!

Last modified: October 21, 2015

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