umbrella etiquette

The irony that I choose to write about umbrellas and rain is not lost on me when eastern Canada is engulfed in a snow storm.

This post is, in part, a rant. But since it’s raining and since Victoria is part of a rainforest and it will rain most of the winter, here goes.

1. Size matters

A golf umbrella belongs on a golf course. Carry an umbrella that’s appropriate for your size. No one can or should remain completely dry.

2. Please don’t put a closed, wet umbrella on the transit seat next to you

Let’s work this one through, okay? You see a puddle on a seat, do you sit down? Of course not. So why would you put a wet umbrella on the seat next to you?

3. Don’t shake the water off your umbrella around other people

I’m so sorry I even had to say that.

4. Carry a closed umbrella cautiously

Let’s make this a rule. Carry your closed umbrella vertically so the pointed end is down. For those collapsible umbrellas, it doesn’t seem like much to ask, but for those longer umbrellas with pointy ends…talk about a weapon!

5. Passing tactics

Be flexible—be prepared to adjust the level of your umbrella to accommodate others. Raise or lower your umbrella depending on the other pedestrians passing you. If you’re taller, raise your umbrella. It’s that simple.

6. Do NOT use our smartphone while carrying an umbrella

Seriously?! Yes, I’m serious. If you’re paying attention to your phone—texting, emailing, whatever—you’re sure not paying attention to your surroundings and you’re not ensuring your umbrella isn’t smacking someone in the face.

7. Awnings are off limits

If you’ve an umbrella, why do you need to stand under an awning?


You’d think carrying and using an umbrella is rocket science. It’s not. It’s about common courtesy. Please.