Canada Post announced today that they plan to end of postal delivery as most of us know it in our Sir John Franklin community area.
Daily home delivery to our door will convert to community mailboxes, known to many as ‘super mailboxes’ or other names. This will present a big adjustment for people, especially those with mobility issues or tight schedules. The steady decline in reliance on postal services has already seen a higher proportion of unwanted mail to ‘real’ mail and the removal of some of our local places to drop items to be posted.
Because ours is a long-established urban neighbourhood, we are amongst the third of Canadians who may be unfamiliar with including going somewhere beyond our front door to get our mail. Rural customers and new neighbourhoods throughout the country have had to do this for years.
But where will our new mail retrieval take place for us?
The new housing development on the old railway right-of-way between Lockwood and Centennial streets in our neighbourhood have seen the introduction of community mailboxes. The planned in-fill development between Lanark and Beaverbrook streets would also include the addition of another community mailbox anyway. Those residents will see no change in their service, while the rest of us will have to get used to that reduced level of service.
On the positive side, those community mailboxes typically include a dropbox where we can post letters. Another benefit is that retrieving larger packages which might have involved a trip to the local postal outlet at the Tuxedo Shopper’s Drug Mart may fit into one of the package compartments in the community mailboxes.
One of the community issues we can look forward to is deciding where these new community mailboxes will be situated, and how many homes they will be intended to service. Anticipated issues relating to these will include pedestrian and traffic safety, snow clearing and litter. It is likely that many people will include mail retrieval in their errands done with the car, which could lead to traffic concerns.
In Whistler, BC, the community mailboxes are clustered under attractive covered structures and paired with recycling containers, but this innovative approach is not evident in other parts of the country.
This may be the time for Sir John Franklin neighbourhood residents to think ahead to how we would like these community mailboxes to look, where they should be placed, and how they can result in the least disruption to our postal needs, and perhaps in fact be an opportunity for improving our area.
Over the next five years, the one third of Canadian households that receive their mail at their door will be converted to community mailbox delivery. This change will provide significant savings to Canada Post and will have no impact on the two thirds of Canadian households that already receive their mail and parcels through community mailboxes, grouped or lobby mailboxes or rural mailboxes. Community mailboxes have advantages for busy Canadians as they offer individually locked mail and small packet compartments as well as locked compartments for securely receiving parcels. The initial neighbourhoods slated for conversion in the second half of 2014 will be announced once plans are finalized. The transition is expected to take 5 years to complete on a national scale. [from their official media release]