Richmond Hill Real Estate Banning Unlucky Numbers
It’s not uncommon to enter an apartment or condo building in the GTA and see missing floors. Superstitions around numbers are prevalent in multiple cultures. In Western cultures fear around unlucky number 13 has caused builders to skip that floor for years. The Chinese community has a similar superstition around the number 4 or numbers containing 4, as the word for it sounds similar to “death” in Mandarin and Cantonese.
After years of granting special requests to skip 13 and 4 in real estate, Richmond Hill has made the bold move to simply ban unlucky numbers in new real estate developments.
Numbers containing 4 such as “14” and “24” are still allowed, and those living in homes marked with 4 can apply for a letter suffix such as 4B. Richmond Hill Councillor, Greg Beros, who spearheaded the motion said, “It wasn’t ideal but it was better than nothing was the consensus.”
It’s not just superstitious residents that will be happy. Richmond Hill real estate agents report that they have a difficult time selling units on the 13ths and 4th floors. Often these units get sold for a lower price or sit on the market longer.
While Richmond Hill has taken the path to ban unlucky numbers, other Canadian towns are doing the opposite. Vancouver recently decided that they would no longer allow people to skip floors and units with 4’s and 13. Officials sites safety concerns as their primary reasons. In an emergency situation, missing floors and units can be dangerous and lead to costly mistakes. Edmonton has also passed similar regulations.
GTA real estate agents also have concerns. They claim that missing floors makes it difficult to market condos. A client may ask how many floors a building has, but the answer isn’t always clear. The floors may go up to 33, but missing 4, 13, 14, and 24.
Richmond Hill doesn’t seem concerned about safety though. The councilors state that the move to ban unlucky numbers was cleared by emergency services. Overall, it seems this move will please many Richmond Hill homeowners. Especially those with triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13, and tetraphobia, fear of the number 4.