Things I Don't Understand: The 13th Floor is Missing

Things I Don't Understand: The 13th Floor is MissingFor the past two years, I've been living in an apartment building. This building has no 13th floor.

Actually, it does have a 13th floor, but it's listed as the 14th floor. Like many buildings in North America, the 13th floor is completely skipped. I've never understood this practice.

How powerful is this triskaidekaphobia that it continues to permeate our society in 2013? Haven't we progressed to a point where we can actually label the 13th floor the 13th floor?

There are several equally ridiculous phobias out there, but we don't let them influence our day-to-day lives. I'm told tetraphobia, the fear of the number 4, is so powerful in many Asian cultures that some new buildings don't have floors ending in 4, either.

It's all so silly, isn't it?

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I'm a numberphobe. I think ALL the floors should be unlabelled. For that matter, having floors at all is an antiquated concept that goes back to the caste system. How does it feel living ABOVE someone, 1%er?

February 13, 2013 @ 5:26 PM


Why stop at buildings?

For those who fear living or working on the 13th floor of a building does it extend to commuting on the Number 13 train? streetcar? bus?, 13 on a car license plate?..check your credit/debit cards or your SIN.....any 13s?

February 13, 2013 @ 6:07 PM


It's hogwash. It's stupid. Oh well, no buildings have a floor marked 13. It's a stupid idea and it spreads around.

February 13, 2013 @ 6:25 PM


Mats Sundin wore # 13 & in the HOF.

Nuff said.

I work with somebody who takes EVERY FRI. the 13th off as vacation day.

February 13, 2013 @ 8:01 PM


It's really stupid every apartment should have a 13th floor.

February 13, 2013 @ 8:29 PM


Why number them at all? Just give them names, colours, Disney characters, whatever. Then you can just push a picture when you get on the elevator.

February 13, 2013 @ 8:49 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

But you need a suite number for the mailman, right?

February 13, 2013 @ 8:55 PM


I don't suffer from triskaidekaphobia, but Triskaidekaphob(e) is my alter-ego when this one is taken. It's just a cool word. Some airlines don't have a 13th row either, which also seems silly.

Acrophobia on the other hand, is not silly and quite understandable.

February 13, 2013 @ 9:46 PM


It's simple, the number 13 for whatever reason has an unlucky or disastrous connotation in western culture.
Why tempt fate??

February 13, 2013 @ 9:54 PM

Blind Dave

@Toronto Mike

It's "Mailman". Stop being so bloody politically correct...

Asians would cringe at my cell phone number. It has four fours in the seven digits!

I think the sound "four" is similar to "death" in some Asian languages.

February 13, 2013 @ 10:20 PM


@Blind Dave: Yup, that's why the number 4 is unlucky. On one hand, it's a silly superstition.

On the other, I wonder what would happen if someone moved to China and lived on a street that sounds like, in english, "You will be nose-raped and murdered Avenue".

So I can kinda see both sides of the argument.

February 13, 2013 @ 10:57 PM


My apartment building has a 13th floor and the building is about 40 years old .

On the number 4, my birthdate is 4/4/44--a fact I try to keep away from Asians because of the inauspicious connotations that 4 conveys.

February 14, 2013 @ 12:13 AM


My building is actually missing 4 & 14 in addition to 13. Yes, built by Chinese developers.

February 14, 2013 @ 12:59 AM


My building is actually missing 4 & 14 in addition to 13. Yes, built by Chinese developers.

February 14, 2013 @ 12:59 AM


There are a few casinos here that don't have a 4th floor, as they cater heavily to the Asian community. Wynn Las Vegas, for example...

February 14, 2013 @ 1:23 AM


My fav numbers happens to be 13 & 666. Yes I am like that.
Most buildings I go to here don't have floors beyond 10 or 12 but there apartment buildings that go higher and do have the number 13. I think most Christians have that issue rather than Hindus & Muslims and certainly Heathens like me.

February 14, 2013 @ 3:23 AM


I have been in some buildings where there is a 13th floor. Some even label it 12A. So stupid.

We are in the year 2013...what to the paranoid people do for the year?

February 14, 2013 @ 5:44 AM

519 Rob

I've always heard that it was bad luck to pass someone on a flight of stairs.
Forget bad luck, I thinks its just un-safe, so I've always avoided that.

As far as 13, it's funny how broad the 'fear' is. I can't think of too many NHLers that wore that number. Sundin, Linseman, umm....

February 14, 2013 @ 8:44 AM

519 Rob

Jeez, how did I miss Teemu who wears 13.
Here are more...

February 14, 2013 @ 8:46 AM


Technically I live on the 14th floor.

Also, I never understood how such an obvious oversight like the words for "4" and "death" sounding alike could have happened. You'd think shortly after coming up with those daily-used words someone would have said "Yeah... we need to change that."

February 14, 2013 @ 10:55 AM

Pete McPhedran

@Lorne LOL.

A lot of office buildings use the 13th floor for mechanicals to avoid the issue altogether.

Why is it still an issue in 2013? Becasue if you built a building and had to sell it or rent it out and it was an issue for any % of potential buyers, why would you not just skip it altogether?

I thought the MTO didn't use 666 in non-vanity plates, but I saw a car last night that was 4 letters and 666, I don't recall the letters, it certainly wasn't personalized as it was totally random.

@Andrew, is your coworker a biker? I had an employee that was a biker and went to Port Colborne every Friday the 13th for the big bike rally there.


February 14, 2013 @ 11:48 AM


If you buy a condominium, you could live in Suite 1401 at 666 Irvine Court but the legal description will still be Unit 1 on Level 13, Toronto Standard Condominium Plan No. 2299. Your deed to the property will still show Level 13.

February 14, 2013 @ 4:03 PM


>>Why tempt fate??

Because you cannot grow and progress without tempting fate at one point.

The bullshitry of fearing 13 and all the other number with 4s is just pathetic.

August 31, 2013 @ 5:22 PM

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