Thursday, January 08, 2004

ON COAT HOOKS AND CANADA

On the subject of cold weather and its innevitable attendant complaining, I have a much more pertinent gripe: There are not enough places to hang your coat in public buildings in this country.

Don't let the topic or the flippant tone of the past post fool you; I'm serious about this. Some of my close friends have been hearing this complaint over Christmas.

As noted below, Canada is a cold country. It is a country that necessitates wearing large insulated coats along with scarves, hats and gloves for nearly five months of the year, and sometimes more. Yet in most public establishments from coffee shops to restaraunts, to shopping malls, and movie theatres there is rarely a place to hang one's coat. This is important in both practical terms and theoretical ones.

Practically, it is annoying to have to carry one's coat around a shopping mall, or place it on the back of a chair at a coffee shop, or sit on it at the movie theatre. If you're wearing a big bulky jacket, carrying it or sitting on it is akward and uncomfortable. If you're wearing an expensive coat of leather or fur draping it on the back of a chair or laying it behind you and sitting on it may not be good for your coat.

More importantly our collective refusal to create places in which we can hang our winter coats is in a way a refusal to understand the place in which we live. Are we trying to pretend we do not live in a cold country? In designing our public buildings are we praying for perpetually warm weather? It is sheer inconsideration and arrogance to overlook such a basic design element.

More importantly this situation could be quite easily resolved in most locations. At many coffee shops and restaraunts a small coat rack could be installed at the front door. Where this is impractical, standing coat hooks could easily be placed in strategic locations throughout the establishment. (To be fair, I have noticed some restaruants where this is done, but no coffee shops or other places like book stores and doctor's offices). The bigger problem lies at larger places like shopping centres and movie theatres. While it may seem impractical to have a coat check in these places I believe it is not too much to ask. Perhaps at the mall it is too much to ask to have an attendant take one's coat but at the theatre, where tickets are up to $12 or $13 it is not. An attendant, however, should not even be necessary. An easily accessible coat check room should suffice. Some may worry about theft, but, if there were coat check rooms in all such public locations everywhere, leaving one's coat would become normal and not stealing a coat would become a part of the social contract. I'm sure it could be accomplished.

Here at McGill in the Arts Building (which dates from a time of superior architectural principles and a better understanding of civility) every classroom has coat hooks at the back of it. The graduate student's lounge has an entire coat room to itself. These amenities are incredibly convenient and in their design show an understanding of the place in which they were being built.

There should be more of that.

Posted by Matthew @ 9:00 PM

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nice post love it
Leather Coats

Posted by Blogger Jeff Smith @ December 09, 2011 5:08 AM #
 
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