Thunder Bay Yellow Pages phone book gets a trim

Landline telephone customers in Thunder Bay will receive a new, pared-down phone book in the next few weeks.
A smaller Yellow Pages phone book is on its way to Thunder Bay residents. This photo shows the size difference between the 2014 and 2015 directory. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Landline telephone customers in Thunder Bay will receive a new, pared-down phone book in the next few weeks.

The publisher, Yellow Pages, says the move is part of a national transition to shrink the phone book.

The company's director of public relations said the directory is smaller, in part, because people are used to smaller electronic devices.

"Most users are now accustomed to tablet-sized items," Fiona Story said. "And so the directory has been changed in line with that."

The phone book is still a relevant tool, particularly in small communities, rural areas and for small businesses, she noted.

The book will change in dimension from 9"x11" to 7"x9".

Many other cities already have moved to the new size since Yellow Pages started producing smaller phone books in 2013.

"We are seeing shifts in terms of the number of customers that might prefer our digital products over our print products," Story continued.

"That being said, print still does have a user base, as well as a customer base, from small businesses that rely on it to reach their clients. The directory absolutely has a future, and it's something that will always be part of our product portfolio." 
CBC Maintenance Technician Gene Balec and reporter Jeff Walters weigh the newest phone book, and an edition from 2007-2008. The edition from eight years ago is nearly twice the weight of the current edition. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Story said people are less likely to keep a business's phone number in their smart phone. And usage is more common in rural areas where cell phone and mobile data isn't as readily available.

She also claimed that 50 to 75 per cent of businesses either don't have a website, or it's outdated.

The company distributes 16 million copies of the Yellow Pages across Canada, which includes businesses as well as residences.

Those who no longer want to receive a copy of the Yellow Pages can call 1-800-268-5637 to remove themselves from the delivery list.

Thunder Bay Yellow Pages book fast facts:

  • 2015 directory has 499 yellow pages, with 216 white pages
  • 2014 directory had 279 yellow pages, with 186 white pages
  • 2007-2008 directory had 406 yellow pages, with 229 white pages, plus a reverse directory, postal codes, etc. This directory is more than twice the weight of the current phone book

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