Canada Town Bans 'Unlucky' 4 From Addresses
Number sounds like 'death' in Cantonese, Mandarin
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2013 2:57 AM CDT
No 4s - and no 13s.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A Toronto suburb that has long catered to the superstitious by skipping 13 when giving out new addresses has decided to do away with the number four as well. Four is considered unlucky by speakers of Cantonese and Mandarin because it sounds like the word "death," and while Richmond Hill has a large Chinese population, residents say it's not only Asians who are turned off by the number, the Toronto Star reports.

"It's funny, I had young Italian couple and they were worried about the number four on their property," a property broker says. "They heard four is no good. It’s really not a big deal, but some people know a bit, and all of a sudden it becomes stigmatized." Numbers like 14 and 24 will still be used for new addresses, and people who currently have a four in their address can petition to have a suffix added to make it into the somewhat less unlucky 4A or 4B.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
Jun 9, 2013 7:56 PM CDT
I think this is just a little bit ridiculous. The citizens requesting address changes should have to pay for any expense incurred by the City for doing so. I daresay that by giving in, they have created a precedent to have to accomodate every other superstition that any of their citizens believe in.
Jun 4, 2013 12:29 AM CDT
As 8 is a lucky number in China, change the 4 address to Half 8!
Jun 3, 2013 12:08 PM CDT
"Sz" sounds too much like "dz"? That's pretty superstitious.