Door-to-door delivery going the way of the telegraph.

Canada Post has announced that it will cease door-to-door mail delivery, becoming the first postal service in the world to stop doing what it was intended to do.

Once again, Canada is at the forefront of not getting things done. It’s the Canadian way.

There has been much umbrage across the country about the Postes Canada Post abrogation of its sacred duty to deliver advertising to your door. I wish I could say that I, too, take umbrage, since umbraging is one of my favorite hobbies. But I’m not particularly peeved or even concerned. Like millions of other Canadians, I haven’t had mail delivery in years, not since we moved into our present house. Ever since we moved here, we’ve had one of Canada Post’s hilariously misnamed ‘supermailboxes’. I hate the supermailbox, and I hate the fact that people who live a half-block over from me get door-to-door service, while I have to walk ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE STREET to pick up my mail.  So to the one-third of urban Canadians who still have the luxury of having mail dropped off at your day, I say welcome to the supermailbox haters club.

Is the death of door-to-door really that big a deal? I don’t think so. Mail is becoming increasingly irrelevant. On a typical day, my mail consists of a half-dozen pieces of advertising for items or services I have no use for. I get almost every bill online. On rare occasions, I get a letter from my 97-year-old uncle Rolland in Salt Lake City, which consists of a few lines in his increasingly incomprehensible cursive, with a few clippings from the New York Times that he thinks I might be interested in. This year, I have received a total of two Christmas cards, and I don’t expect too many more.

I hate to say this, but it’s entirely possible that Canada Post may actually be a world leader in killing off its basic service. I think the mailman will become a thing of the past, just like the milkman or the iceman. If you look at the mail as form of communication and just accept that all forms of communication mutate, then you can wrap your head around the idea of the death of door-to-door. Morse code used to be a cutting edge way to communicate messages, now it’s gone. The telegraph was for decades the fastest way to send a message, now it no longer exists. Everybody, and I mean everybody, used to read the daily newspaper. Now, it’s mostly old-timers like me who still subscribe. Long ago, if you missed your favorite TV show, you’d never see it again. With PVRs today, you watch TV on your own schedule. Remember when getting a long-distance phone call was a rare and dramatic event? Now, you can talk for hours — for free — through your computer. Most young people don’t even have landline phones anymore.

Time marches on. There is no turning around the sinking ship that is door-to-door mail delivery.

By Maurice Tougas

Maurice Tougas is a lifelong Albertan, award-winning writer and reporter, and a former MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark.


  1. I know you adore that word “umbrage” and reserve it for your most special columns!

    A very fine read, Monsieur Tougas!

    And a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    That’s three exclamation points … count ’em and know you are appreciated….


  2. We all seem to have short memory… The postal workers hastened their own demise two years ago, when they went on strike — and no one noticed. Idiots.

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