City officials will have to work with Canada Post to determine where to put community mailboxes in the wake of the Crown corporation’s decision to phase out door-to-door delivery.

Mail carriers will start to disappear over the next five years as they are replaced with large communal mailboxes, Canada Post announced Wednesday.

Naheed Nenshi

The City of Calgary will have to budget for the steep price increase for postage announced by Canada Post on Wednesday, Mayor Naheed Nenshi says. (CBC)

“Obviously we’re going to have to find space. In newer communities they’re built with the … mailbox stations in place. So, in older neighbourhoods, over time, we’re just going to figure out where to put them,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

As of March 31, the cost of a stamp will increase to 85 cents each if bought in a pack, up from 63 cents. Individual stamps will cost $1.

Canada Post said it will also eliminate up to 8,000 positions over the next five years, but it expects 15,000 workers will leave the company or retire within that period. It says the five-year plan will save Canada Post $900 million a year.

The City of Calgary sends out thousands of pieces of mail each year — everything from tax bills to property assessments, said Nenshi.

“That is going to have a significant impact on the city’s operations and we’ll have to figure out how to budget for that,” he said. 

But some wondered why the city is still mailing documents anyway.

Some local businesses say Canada Post's move to increase mailing costs is a losing strategy.

"We'll certainly have to rethink how we do things I think," said Theatre Calgary president Tom McCabe.

He says they mail out tickets, thank-you letters and notices about the next year's playlist.

"There are ways to communicate to them, we just have to get more efficient," said McCabe. "And I think that it's probably going to force us to be more efficient and obviously hopefully reduce our costs as opposed to having them go up."


Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city sends out thousands of pieces of mail every year from tax bills to property assessments. (CBC)

Richard Truscott, with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says many small businesses can't absorb higher postal costs.

"It may seem just like a little bit when you're talking about specific or individual pieces of mail or parcels but for a small business that uses traditional mail for a big part of their operations those costs can really add up," he said.

Truscott believes this move will encourage businesses to find other options more quickly and hasten the end of Canada Post.

The elimination of door-to-door service is also an end of an era for some Calgarians.

Shirley Clarke, a local senior, says she'll miss the personal touch.

"I know some of the carriers have been helpful over the years for people who can't get out, you know they'll mail letters or get stamps for them — little things like that — which is nice," she said.

Clarke, who has no mobility problems, says other people her age will struggle to get to the newly-proposed community mailboxes.