Toronto

Canada Post apologizes after delivery suspended to Roncesvalles homes for weeks without notice

Canada Post conducted a safety review in the neighbourhood and identified a number of houses that had problems - but didn't let people know there was an issue before suspending delivery.

Review found safety issues in the neighbourhood, Canada Post says

Chris Winter was perplexed after waiting weeks for an important letter, but later realized he was one of a number of Roncesvalles residents having issues with mail delivery. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

Chris Winter opens his mailbox in front of his home on Sorauren Avenue, and is greeted by what's been a rare sight lately: a handful of letters. 

After waiting for weeks, "now I'm getting mail again," he said. "So, who knows?" 

Winter is one of a number of Roncesvalles residents whose mail was interrupted — or stopped completely — since the second week of October. 

And, like his neighbours, he never heard anything from Canada Post prior to the delivery suspension. 

"We didn't get anything, and nobody else got anything... and that's the strange thing about the story," he told CBC Toronto.

A few blocks away, on Pearson Avenue, Jamie Khan and a few of her neighbours found themselves in the same boat: without mail, and without a reason why. 

"We all talked… and none of us had received our mail for three weeks, and none of us had received a notice," she said. 

Safety review conducted

Eventually, after a number of calls to Canada Post and a chat with their local mail carrier, a supervisor arrived on their street and explained what was happening.

It turns out Canada Post conducted a safety review in the neighbourhood, and identified a number of houses that had problems with their walkways, steps and porches. 

According to the supervisor, "each of us had different problems," Khan said, adding that she has heard a total of about 40 houses were flagged for issues. Canada Post would not confirm that number to CBC News. 

At her house, "the stairs are uneven and the walkway is kind of craggy," while for her neighbours, the issues were a lack of a handrail on the steps and a letter slot that's placed too high. 

The 'craggy' walkway at Jamie Khan's house. She plans to renovate in the spring to make her front walk and steps even. (Kate McGillivray/CBC)

The part that irked them, say Khan and Winter, is that nobody let them know. 

"Unfortunately we did not inform customers about the safety issues and temporary service suspension. We have processes in place, and they weren't followed," said a Canada Post spokesperson in an email to the CBC. 

"We apologize to our customers and have reviewed the process with the people involved." 

Residents instructed on what to fix

Canada Post also says that mail was delivered Friday to the affected houses, and that supervisors went out to speak to people in person and explain what to do to fix the problems. 

Vera Ciric, who says she figured out something was wrong after important items like cheques and a renewed parking permit failed to arrive, has been asked to install a handrail on her steps on MacDonell Avenue. 

Ciric says she's confused why her steps suddenly became an issue. 

At Khan's neighbour's house, four steps were flagged for not having a handrail. A small sign on the porch reads 'railing has been delivered! will be installed in a week!' (Kate McGillivray/CBC)

"We haven't had a handrail in over 20 years. I was born and raised in this house," she told CBC Toronto. 

Both Khan and Ciric found a workaround by installing the mailbox below their steps so the mail carrier can avoid having to use them. 

But what lingers for the affected households is irritation at the lack of communication. 

"You can't just take somebody's mail and not let them know where it is," said Ciric. 

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