Vancouver’s decision to ban doorknobs last month has caused a surprising amount of controversy.
The decision was made to enable easier access for the elderly and disabled, who generally find door handles easier to use. The new building code will affect private residences, and also mandates wider doors, lower taps and light switches, and other disabled-friendly features.
However, the Economist highlights the possibility of a terrifying side-effect: increased bear attacks on forest-dwelling citizens. Bears have been known to gain access to cars and homes by using door handles, with one county in Colorado, USA even going so far as to ban handles from buildings to prevent bear invasions.
The Canadian Home Builder’s Association has proved a staunch critic of the new code, objecting to Vancouver’s decision to go it alone and not seek a change in national policy. Nonetheless, other provincial councils are looking to follow Vancouver’s lead, meaning that it may not be long before Canada is the world’s first door knob-free nation.