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Sorry, Big Umbrella: this famously rainy city has fallen out of love.
Wow, was this a controversial topic. When we opened this survey two weeks ago, it even prompted some heated discussion around our office. (Mostly, it was my colleagues calling me a lunatic for never checking the weather report—what can I say, I love surprises.) But we’re not here to talk about my absurd belief that what Mother Nature has in store is none of my business. We’re here to talk umbrellas. Do most Vancouverites carry umbrellas, or will a rain jacket do? Here are the results.
The short answer? Some do. Some don’t. Here are the numbers.
So yeah, I’m definitely in the minority here. 30% check the weather report once per day and 24% check a couple of times per week. 6% said they check a few times per month. And a lousy 2% never check the weather—at least I’m not alone.
We asked, “In the rainy months, do you carry an umbrella with you?” and answers were divided: 46% said “Only if it is raining or I think it will rain,” 18% said they carry an umbrella every day, regardless of the weather, and 36% have sworn off umbrellas completely (Sorry, Rihanna).
You can never be too careful, right? Given the prompt “When you know it’s going to rain, you will:,” 40% said they wear a rain jacket only, 12% said they carry an umbrella only, and 5% answered “None of the above, I just get wet.” So, in total, 45% don’t use umbrellas when it’s raining.
This proved a theory I had pre-survey: that umbrellas just kind of float around, getting lost and found, and a lot of them have mysterious origins. 45% of folks gave the very boring answer of “I bought it,” and 21% said their umbrella was a gift (holiday season approaches, keep this in mind… unless your giftee is one of the 36% that never carry an umbrella. 9% said they borrowed it from someone and never gave it back. Possession is nine tenths of the umbrella law.
Okay, maybe we were baiting people with that one. 25% said that using an umbrella to ward off snow is “resourceful and smart” and the rest gave no opinion.
Our survey also left space for folks to share (and vent) about umbrellas in general. It’s raining opinions over here; here are the results, getting more unhinged the more you scroll.
“It’s a fashion opportunity.”
“I hate being rained on and I don’t understand why people are against umbrellas. I do not want to sit on the bus where your wet raincoat just was.”
“People who don’t carry umbrellas are insane.”
“For wimps only.”
“Umbrellas just get in the way.”
“Umbrellas make sense, especially the compact ones!”
“My umbrella is a mini and fits in my coat pocket or in my purse.”
“Small, compact brollies are essential.”
“I’m tired of having to move for people who refuse to carry an umbrella and then insist on walking under store awnings even when it’s not their side of the street.”
“The person holding the umbrella should not walk under the awning.”
“If you have an umbrella you’re disqualified from walking under awnings.”
“People who use umbrellas need to GTFO from under the awnings. Awnings are the only defense of the chaotic.”
“True Vancouverites don’t carry umbrellas.”
“Real Vancouverites don’t use umbrellas.”
“If you are born-and-raised Vancouver, you love umbrellas.”
“Golf umbrellas belong on golf course, not crowded sidewalk.”
“My umbrellas usually turn inside out and break in the wind, so I use a golf umbrella.”
“The only acceptable way to acquire an umbrella is by finding it on the floor of a library/in the back of an Evo/under a table at a restaurant and if you purchase one yourself you’re cheating the umbrella distribution system.”
“No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
“Snow umbrella works for light snow. Snow is just cold rain. Umbrellas are for rain. Ergo umbrellas are for snow.”
“I do not own a rain jacket and refuse to buy one.”
“Real EastVaners don’t use an umbrella unless you’re holding it for a lady, going to a wedding or a funeral.”
“Born and raised 60 years on the North Shore, never have carried and umbrella… also never had had good hair.”
“The rain is gonna fall. Carry or don’t. Just do not complain about it!”