Thursday Doors – March 9, 2017

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button below. 

Canada Post Super Boxes (Mail Box Doors)

It was a mild sunny day here yesterday so I thought I’d invite you along on my lunchtime walk to go get the mail.

Go GET the mail?

That’s right. Though Canada Post does deliver parcels to over 16.1 million addresses across the country, today less than 5 million of those still receive daily to-the-door postal delivery, and ours is not one of them.

So once or twice a week whenever we think of it, we go down to the end of our street, put our key in this little door and open it to see if we have any new junk mail.

How did we go from weekday mail delivery right across Canada, to actually having to pick up our mail at the end of our street?

Well, even though Canada Post is a crown corporation, it is required by law to not become a burden on taxpayers and therefore it must be financially self-sufficient.

This means they are constantly analyzing their rates and service offerings to make sure they are efficient and profitable.

Back in the 1980’s one of the conclusions that came from this self-analysis was that home delivery of letter mail was getting expensive (d’uh!) and the price they’d need to charge in order to make it at least a break-even proposition, was more than customers would accept.

Looking at demographics and the acceleration of urban sprawl it was decided that door-to-door mail delivery would be continued in areas where population density warranted it, and would be gradually phased out in the suburbs where it just didn’t make economic sense.

So how would people in suburban areas receive their mail?

Tada!

With much fanfare Canada Post introduced so-called ‘Super Boxes’.

I like to joke that we have two national pastimes in Canada: Hockey and complaining. As good as we are at hockey, when it comes to our government and government agencies, we Canadians are really good at complaining 😀

Needless to say ‘Super Boxes’ and the idea of having to go pick up the mail gave lots of Canadians something to complain about.

Some Super Boxes are a little short on the ‘Super’

So much so that in an attempt to defuse the negative attention Canada Post eventually decided to re-brand them as ‘Community Mailboxes’ – you know, like togetherness and all 😉

In the 30 years since, folks in the burbs have learned to accept it, which becomes easier to do since hardly anyone sends letters through the mail anymore anyway.

In the meantime, between electronic communications such as email and text messaging, as well as online banking and direct deposits, domestic letter mail keeps dying a slow, painful death.

Canada Post has since put more focus on the profitable part of its business, domestic parcel delivery, and thanks to the huge growth in online shopping they are making money at it. But losses incurred by mail delivery eat into those profits forcing them to raise rates and look for ways to make further cuts.

In case you’re wondering, it now costs $1.00 to mail a letter within Canada.

So what’s next?

A plan instituted by our previous federal government to abolish door-to-door letter delivery in urban areas in favour of community boxes is now on hold pending further study. In other words, a whole bunch of city folk complained.

Other cost-cutting plans that have been floated include reducing the frequency of mail delivery to alternate weekdays, or even just once or twice a week…that’s right, cue the complaining.

You gotta feel for Canada Post; they’re not allowed to lose money, but they can’t raise rates or cut service without getting complaints from customers who are using the service less and less to begin with.

For now we’ll keep picking up our junk mail once a week at the end of the street while we wait to see what happens 🙂

Yes, it was all junk.

As always I thank you for stopping by.

Want to join in on the fun and share your own Thursday Doors post with other door lovers? Click on the blue button below to add the link to your Thursday Doors post to our link-up list.

Don’t forget that if you share your blog posts on Twitter and Instagram, use the #ThursdayDoors hashtag to help others find you, and please do take a few minutes to visit some of the Thursday Door posts shared by others.

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About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
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77 Responses to Thursday Doors – March 9, 2017

  1. Leah says:

    Having lived most of my life in northern, rural, and just plain old small towns, I’ve seldom had door-to-door delivery. Where I live, now, we walk about half an hour to pick up our mail at a little corner store (to pick up the junk mail and seed catalogues). Based on my experiences, I have a hard time understanding what all the fuss is about.

    The post office has always been a place of socialization in small towns, we run into the same people on a regular basis, as picking up the mail just becomes a part of our weekly routine. It’s a time to catch up, get the ‘goss’ and have a friendly chat with others in the community.

    I know there are those with mobility issues, for whom the lack of door-to-door delivery would be a bit more of an issue, but that would be nothing new for those in the communities in which I’ve lived. I suppose some kindly neighbour picks up their mail for them.

    With fewer and fewer of us relying on snail mail, it just seems to be the way things are going. I’d rather lose this than other, more essential government services.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Leah and sorry for the delay. Yes I totally agree with you. With some very rare exceptions of course, the idea of having to go up to the corner, or finding someone to go up to the corner for you, really shouldn’t be that big a deal 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. reocochran says:

    Only one was incorrectly addressed. . . So sorry and have a lovely weekend, Norm.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. reocochran says:

    Oh, it was 5:19 am on Thursday when I left you a message on your 3/9/17 post. I accidentally put my own WordPress address on the Thursday’s Doors posts on my own blog. Early message sent to apologize, Norm. . . Take it easy and I did correct the one of three incorrectly addressed as a link. Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

  4. reocochran says:

    Sometimes relabeling things does seem to lessen the “pain!” Norm, I like the name of Community Boxes! 🙂 You covered quotes lot of area in this Doors post! The mail here is at 50 cents so we are doing fairly well but I have two billing companies who charge me $5 monthly to get snail mail over email and pay pal. One is an insurance company and another is a business. You just made me feel better about cost but the sun on the red courier mail slot was my favorite part of your Thursday’s Doors. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I live in a trailer park and we have little boxes too. I get the mail twice a week. I still get bills, cards, and junk mail.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. conspicari says:

    Really unusual, as far as I know we don’t have anything similar in the UK. We still get daily door deliveries but the post office is under pressure to make greater profits so the cost of a stamp goes up pretty regularly. :>)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Phil Taylor says:

    Canada often seems far more progressive and wise than the United States. I wish more of our government agencies were required to be fiscally sound.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Considering most of the mail these days is junk, this kind of makes sense. And if I lived there, my mailbox would rarely be emptied during the winter… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. treerabold says:

    We live in a U.S. neighborhood that has “community boxes”
    I really don’t care for it…and as you point out we receive so little “real” mail these days its hardly worth the walk to the box!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Candy says:

    I must agree that these mailboxes are not visually appealing. Even the color is boring.
    I guess I’ll quit complaining about the cost to send a letter in the US and be grateful I don’t have to trek to the end of the road to get my mail, such that it is.
    Love your unconventional door post.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think I would be one of the complainers too. I like my mail delivered to my home where it’s safe inside my house (the slot goes into our garage). That way, if we leave for several days, we don’t need to worry about the box getting full… yes, yes, I know… it would be full of mostly junk mail… but it’s our junk mail. Great door post, Norm! I guess this gives us permission from the Grand Doormaster to expand the definition of “door.” Just like Donna said in her comment, the selection of doors in my area is pretty sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Absolutely do feel free to let your imagination take part in your door searches. The idea is to be creative, have fun, and share a little slice of your world with the rest of the world 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. amoralegria says:

    Very interesting! It may be more inconvenient but at least your postal service isn’t heavily in debt like ours in the USA.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I send you compliments on having such a smart government. The U.S. Postal Service Lost $5.1B in in 2015, and it only gets worse every year. In my youth (way back when), you went to the mail box to get ‘mail.’ We do everything on line so we get junk. I would gladly stop anywhere they would tell me to pick up the junk and save the money of them having to deliver it to each door. I know it is a huge employer but I would think there could be a plan to phase it out as people retire. Anyway, Norm, I love your ‘smart’ doors. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Judy. I like to think it shows that there is a smart way to do socialism. I just wish we did more of it though, because whenever public funds are involved…well some folks act like there is a limitless supply.
      Canada Post has done exactly what you mentioned; cutting the workforce not through layoffs but by not replacing people when they retire.

      Like

  14. dennyho says:

    Go Caps! Something to complain about since it appears you barely had any mail in your box….♥

    Liked by 1 person

  15. slfinnell says:

    Seems post office complaints are universal! I never dreamed I’d be on the same wavelength today as Norm 2.0!! Whodathunk??!! Interesting to see how your system works 🙂 We still have mail daily to our door and know our postal person well enough to wave at the store. I’m kind of bummed out for you guys.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Considering how little “real” mail there is, I think this type of progression is inevitable in most places. I do prefer the convenience of direct deposits and online payments compared to having to wait for and mail checks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. jesh stg says:

    The Canadian Crown is still very nice to its inhabitants! In Holland (country of origin) they have solved it by releasing the Post to the private sector. So now organizations compete for prices. Me thinks the Canadians can beat the Americans in complaining (at least about political happenings). And most of the complaints are so lame or not thought through, its not something to write home about.
    We pick up our mail (without lock!) at the end of the county road,around the corner (since we live on an unpaved non-county road) – was getting used to, but now we are:)

    Liked by 2 people

  17. 76sanfermo says:

    I’ve just met your blog….and started to follow it…
    Cee Neuner told me that Thursday Doors is hosted by your blog….I’m very wimpy with technology (and with the English language) , but I’ll try to send you my contribute…

    Congrats for your interesting posts, and thanks for all
    76sanfermo

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This reminded me of how the mail is handled in an apartment complex and some subdivisions. It was interesting to read why Canada chose to do that.
    Even though my mail is typically almost all junk mail, I love getting it. It’s like a birthday present. You never know what might be inside. When I was home with toddlers, my husband knew that was the highlight of my day, so once he mailed me a letter from a different part of town. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Bee Halton says:

    Interesting door post :-).

    Liked by 1 person

  20. LucciaGray says:

    Mail box doors are certainly important, especially in some more remote locaitons! Beautiful locations for the boxes and such a sunny day 🙂 This week I had fun sharing some other doors to a building where I used to work, and many claim is haunted…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. ghostmmnc says:

    Interesting how your community mailboxes are handled. We’ve had those a few places we’ve lived, but here at home, we get our mail in an individual box by the street curb. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. joey says:

    I like to photograph mail boxes too 🙂
    Ugh. I am all for self-sufficient, and would gladly pay a dollar to mail a domestic letter, (I pay much more to mail to Canada!) I have been informed junk mail is the only thing keeping the USPS afloat. So, much as I hate junk mail, I ultimately support it for supporting the USPS.
    I have twice lived in neighborhoods where the boxes are like this and I am not a fan. Furthermore, I did not enjoy the gentle nagging of my mother to go down and check my mail every single day. It was something I considered when we bought this house.
    There is always the possibility we will move to box hubs, but for now, I’m grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Yeah, I think it’s about $1.50 to mail to the U.S. from here, and overseas is almost $3.00.
      I have to say that it did factor into our decision to stop mailing Christmas cards last year.
      I don’t mind the junk mail too much, especially since it and parcel delivery are the only things keeping the post office going. I think when more businesses stop mailing statements and checks, that’s going to be the end of it for the post office, at least in the way we know the post office now.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. jazzytower says:

    Cummunity mail box…mmm. well, it’s better than having to go all the way to the post office to pick up the junk mail I always get. Interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I like your approach for this weeks door-challenge. So different, so small, yet so useful. I wonder if we will still have mailboxes outside our homes in 20 or 30 years?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks I thought it would make for an interesting twist. We’ll see how things play out, but I do get the feeling that most places won’t have mailboxes in 20 or 30 years – they just won’t need them.

      Like

  25. Donna says:

    I absolutely love this twist on ‘Canadian doors’, Norm! I am often frustrated by the lack of ‘interesting doors’ in our town. This post has inspired me to look beyond the obvious!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Donna. We pass interesting doors of some sort just about every day. They don’t always have to be ornate or sexy to be interesting. And you’ll find that once you start noticing them, it’s really hard to stop 😀

      Like

  26. ianbcross says:

    Norm, don’t tell me you are running out of doors to post! Come to Delhi and photograph enough interesting doors to last your blog a few years. I have posted another selection. Best wishes, Ian

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Kat says:

    I find the idea of community mailboxes interesting. Some days we have a hard enough time remembering to step outside our front door and taking out the mail, so I shudder to think how much would pile up in a mailbox that we needed to leave our front step to collect!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Unusual selection of doors for your ‘post’ this week, Norm. Canada is so vast compared to Ireland you would think our mail would be cheaper. It costs us €0.72 to post a letter up to 100g within the country. That’s equal to $1.03 (Canadian Dollar) and the furthest it would have to travel would be about 400 miles by road from the extreme points of Malin Hean in the north to Mizen Head in the south. That’s only 290 miles as the crow flies. I think carrier pigeons might make a come back 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      You’re right Jean, it is still relatively inexpensive here. We’ve been somewhat spoiled I guess, but there’s no doubt that price increases and more changes are on the way as the drop in the volume of letter mail continues.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Self-supported? The Post Office?? Ha! If we had that in the US, there wouldn’t be mail service. 🙂 Although in Cleveland, our mailman/women walked and put the mail in the box either by the house or the slot in the house, depending on the age of the house, here we have a mailbox by the street and the carrier drives by and puts the mail in. My parents in Arizona have an arrangement similar to yours, but they live in a gated community. I still try to send real mail every so often, but not to many people do, which is probably part of the problem.

    Do you anticipate a Stanley Cup of complaining any time soon? 🙂

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Thanks Janet. We pay all our bills and do our banking online, don’t receive printed statement anymore (all via email) and I honestly can’t remember the last time I sent someone a letter so I guess we’re part of the problem.
      In fact, when they raised the rates to a buck a letter last year, that’s when we decided to stop sending Christmas cards too…though I still feel bad about that one.

      Like

  30. marianallen says:

    I’m disappointed in Canada: Seems like they could have made those community boxes a little cuter or cooler. Paint them like apartments. Put some of those kids’ glittery windmills on top of them. Faces on the doors or SUMPIN! Can you paint your own box, or would that be defacing government property? Oh, well, thanks for the lesson about Canadian post. I love it when I start the day by learning something!

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Ah, capitalism at its finest.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Joanne Sisco says:

    I came from a small community where mail pick up only happened at the post office. At ‘rush hour’ during lunch time and after 5 pm, it often turned into a social time. It was a rare day that my dad didn’t come back from the post office without some local gossip he had picked up while he was there.

    Since I left my hometown, I’ve had at-home delivery, but like you said, it’s dwindled down to almost nothing except junk mail.

    Do you know who is responsible for ensuring the area is kept clean and clear of snow?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      Our boxes are on the edge of a school parking lot, so I assume that whoever has the snow clearing contract with the school is responsible for the mailboxes too.
      I can can that they’re doing a good job. We’ve never had problem accessing our box, even after some pretty heavy snowfall.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Dan Antion says:

    As someone who worked his way through college by delivering mail and whose father retired from the US Post Office, I find the inevitable end of the daily mail era to be sad. We still have daily delivery to the mailbox by our front door. We know our mailman and we only complain when one of his substitutes (subs) brings the mail wet or damaged. I still think the answer is for the official post offices to offer an official, inexpensive paid email. If people had to pay, even $0.001 to send an email, I’d get a lot less junk. I’d happily throw the switch that says “I don’t accept free email” and be done with spam.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      The only good thing is that, as are far as I know, they have yet to lay off any employees. They’ve been cutting staff solely through attrition – not replacing those who retire.
      I’m not sure what the permanent solution is, or even if one exists considering the challenges they face, but it would be a shame to lose the post office completely.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Pistachios says:

    That is an interesting concept – it’s got me wondering if something like that could be implemented here in Australia… But how did they make space for all these Community Mailboxes? I think people here would also complain that they’re an eyesore and a waste of space.
    There is something pleasing in how neat and orderly they look though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Norm 2.0 says:

      They put them on public owned land whenever possible: the edge of school parking lots (like in our case) or a corner of a public park… and yes, people do complain about them being eyesores 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Hehe, Canadian Norm and his Thursday Door-to-Doors! (That goes into Twitter too, hihi.) One of these days I’ll show you my stroll to the community mail box. Ours doesn’t even have the key. (We’ve got our personal one too, but nobody throws anything inside anymore, except the Jehovas. And wasps.)

    Liked by 1 person

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