Goodbye numbered mailboxes. Hello street addresses.
“The four digit mailboxes are no more. People are being assigned new mailboxes by street addresses,” Clearwater postmistress Millie Rempel said last week.
Canada Post is switching all households on the two rural routes in Clearwater as well as the rural routes in Barriere from mailbox numbers to civic addresses. The green mailboxes will be no more and will be replaced by modern ones similar to those in Louis Creek and Darfiled.
New community mailboxes will be installed. Each compartment in the mailbox will have its own lock built into its door, so users won’t need to provide their own padlocks.
The new community mailboxes will be taller than the existing ones and mounted on concrete pads.
Rural routes may be assigned their own postal codes. Mail coming to the mailboxes in the post office will use that postal code.
People without rural mail delivery service can get mailboxes at the post office without charge.
Some people though may be at risk of losing their mail delivery service as a result of the changeover.
As an example someone who moved to a certain area of Barriere several years ago. That person subsequently moved to a different area in town but kept the old rural route mailbox rather than bother with changing his or her address.
Following the upcoming changeover, that person could find his or her mail ending up in General Delivery at the post office. Because only enough new mailboxes will be provided to meet the known users at each site, that person could also find himself or herself waiting several months before getting a new mailbox compartment based on his or her street address.
Rempel said she has been checking for street addresses in the telephone book but quite a few people use cellphones or otherwise have unlisted numbers.
“I need people’s assistance over the next two weeks so we can find out the number of compartments needed,” said the local postmistress. “We have to get them right the first time around.”
Her goal is to have the master list of street addresses confirmed by mid-March. After that, the new community mailboxes and street addresses in Clearwater should be completed by July 31.
Canada Post will be offering free change of address services for one year.
The changeover from rural mailbox numbers to street addresses in Barriere will be similar.
Anyone with any questions about the process should contact their local post office.