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New company aims to keep people dry in Canada


Umbracity, a company founded in 2013 has been taking Vancouver by storm with their fully automated umbrella rental kiosks that were inspired by other cities share-programs such as car-share and bike-share companies.

The first kiosks were installed at the University of British Columbia and the method can’t really be any easier. Once you sign up for a membership you receive a membership card which you then swipe at one of the kiosks to receive your umbrella.

To stop the few dishonest people amongst us, each umbrella has a unique identifier that is scanned by the kiosk when it’s rented out then returned, allowing UmbraCity to keep a record of how long users have kept hold of each umbrella.

The costs of the rental is affordable to most, with the first 48 hours free of charge and any day after the initial 48 hours is $2.00 a day.

This idea is born out of environmental concern, UmbraCity wants to minimise the number of cheap low quality umbrellas that people purchase when they are caught out in bad weather, which ultimately end up in landfills, harming the environment further.

Instead they have provided a convenient and sustainable alternative that are lightweight, high quality and resistant to strong winds, whilst also standing out with their yellow canopy. They are also fully recyclable for when they come to the end of their life after being passed through many hands.


UmbraCity was launched in September 2013 and there are five kiosks around the UBC campus. The firm intends to use this initial roll-out as a pilot study, with the results informing future roll-outs.

Let’s hope this idea catches on, in the meantime why don’t you visit us at Jolly Brolly and view our wide range of umbrellas to protect you this wet and windy festive season?

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