Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Post in Canada

I went for a walk a few weeks ago and got some photos to have this entry done about mail in Canada.

Seeing as Canada is a very large country, this is more or less based off my experience living in Calgary but I imagine this is fairly similar to other larger cities in Canada. In my city, it's more common to see Post Office kiosks sharing with another business (like below) as opposed to the PO having it's own store. In smaller towns, there is usually only the one PO in it's own place, but sometimes there will be the main office on its own and another PO sharing with a business.

So far it seems that POs generally share with "Shoppers Drug Mart," I have yet to see a Shoppers without one!

This is the closest independent PO to my house, a whole 20 km away! I took this photo on a Sunday, they are open only on weekdays and closed on the weekends and holidays. The same goes for mail service in Canada too, mail throughout the week unless it falls on a holiday.

Here is the traditional post box for outgoing mail only, the boxes were previously a solid red but then were replaced with this model that has an anti-graffiti coating on it. All the numbers and letters represent postal code variations across Canada, the only complete postal code would be: H0H 0H0, the postal code used to write letters to Santa Claus at Christmas time :)

Just to emphasize, that odd mix of letters and numbers really are apart of a Canadian postal code. Especially with my address, I noticed people tend to think my house number is my postal code XD But nope, it will always be in the "letter, number, letter, dash or space, number, letter, number" format. I believe the UK and the Netherlands are the only other places with letters in their postal codes as well. 

This isn't my mailbox but this is the type I have, these superboxes have been around for years and I more or less grew up having only this type of mailbox. It's similar to a system you would find in an apartment complex except that the owners live in individual houses, depending how far you are from your mailbox, most people tend to pick up their mail on the way home in their car because it can be quite a walk sometimes. For example, my friend's mailbox is located around 400-500 m from her house, sure it's not a far walk but it is inconvenient! 

Here is the new set of superboxes, I forgot to mention above that these boxes double not only for people to pick up their mail but to post it as well. The image above has a small slot for outgoing mail while in the image below the slot is in the red rectangle. Both sets of superboxes have a compartment for packages, the owner of the package will find the key in their mailbox to open it, and of course the owner has a key for their own individual mailbox.

These new boxes are in areas that previously had door to door service, meaning your mailbox (not issued by Canada Post) was at your door and of course the mail courier would deliver your mail to your doorstep. With this system the mail courier opens all the boxes at once, places the mail inside, closes them all up again and proceeds to the next set of boxes. Unlike say Germany where the mail person may deliver on bike, mail couriers here use their own personal vehicles for delivery.

Another set of mail boxes that I have encountered while driving around the rural back roads. As I mentioned these are the rural superboxes. It seems to me each resident has their own individual lock on their compartment, how mail is placed in is a bit of a mystery to me though.

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