The town of Richmond Hill has announced it is discontinuing the use of the number 4 in all of the city’s new developments, according to a document that highlights monthly city council meetings.
Countless Richmond Hill residents keep requesting address changes in order to escape the number 4. In both Mandarin and Cantonese the word for “4” sounds similar to the word for “death”.
The high demand for address change requests led to City Council’s official decision to axe the number for new builds (it was based on a 5-4 vote earlier this month).
Existing homes with multi-number addresses such as 24 and 844 have to keep their death number, but addresses with the number 4 can take on suffixes such as 4A. Naturally, homeowners have to pay the city to change their luck.
According to the Toronto Star, people of all heritages are adopting the superstition, which has also boosted the number of requests Richmond Hill officials are getting. The town has a long history with changing street numbers because of superstitions. The number 13 stopped being used many years ago.
Like Richmond Hill, Markham has a large East Asian population and is receiving many address requests as well, but is not going to ban the number at this time.