Eleven centres will start collecting mail at community boxes this fall as Canada Post begins its move to end door-to-door delivery.
It's the first stage of a five-year plan announced in December and will involve about 100,000 addresses.
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Canada Post says that in large cities during this phase, only a few neighbourhoods will be affected, and delivery will continue to businesses.
In the smaller municipalities, nearly all households and a higher proportion of businesses will move to community mailboxes.
Canada Post says these neighbourhoods are near areas that already have community mailboxes, so the infrastructure is already in place.
Rising costs, falling volumes
The Crown Corporation will ask for feedback about the change for use as the program moves to other communities.
The national mail service says rising costs and falling mail volumes have made it impossible to continue its traditional operations
It says only about one-third of Canadians are still getting home delivery.
The 11 communities and the approximate number of affected addresses are:
- Some neighbourhoods in Calgary (postal codes start with T2B, T3J —10,450 addresses).
- Fort McMurray, Alta. (8,450 addresses).
- Some neighbourhoods in Winnipeg (postal codes start with R2P, R2V — 12,500 addresses in West Kildonan, Garden City, The Maples, and Margaret Park.)
- Oakville, Ont. (26,400 addresses).
- Neighbourhoods in Kanata (postal codes start with K2K, K2L, K2M — 7,900 addresses).
- Rosemere, Que. (3,350 addresses).
- Lorraine, Que. (2,550 addresses).
- Bois-des-Filion, Que. (2,750 addresses).
- Charlemagne, Que. (1,300 addresses).
- Repentigny, Que. (14,400 addresses).
- Halifax neighbourhoods in the Lower Sackville and Bedford areas (postal codes start with B4A, B4B, B4C, B4E, B4G — 9,950 addresses).
Canada Post's revenue dropped $20 million in the first three quarters of 2013 compared with the same time frame last year.
Here are some other numbers, from Canada Post:
- 5,094,694 people get door-to-door delivery in Canada.
- Average cost per address is $269.
- 3,804,574 get mail through group mail boxes.
- Average cost per box is $117.
A Conference Board of Canada report released in April said two-thirds of Canadians already do without door-to-door regular mail service, whether through rural mailboxes, group mailboxes, delivery facilities or "centralized mail points."
The report said mail volumes are expected to drop another 25 per cent in the next seven years, with parcels the only growth area thanks to e-commerce.
It said stopping door-to-door delivery of mail to urban Canadians and replacing it with community mailboxes would have the largest financial impact on a projected $1-billion Canada Post deficit by 2020.
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Canada Post said this plan will help return it to "financial stability" by 2019.
It said the numbers do not include savings through pension changes or labour costs, since those two aspects will be worked out through collective bargaining.
Community mailboxes have been around since the 1980s, with the rise of new home developments, where they are now standard.