Ask Torontoist: Why Does Toronto Have a Postal Outlet Gap?
Ask Torontoist features questions posed by you and answered by our elite team of specially trained investigative experts (also known as our staff). Send your questions to [email protected].
Reader Adam White asks:Do you know why there is such a large area in the middle of the city without a postal outlet? I happen to live in the middle of this empty quadrant (Vaughan/St. Clair) and I have to travel two kilometres to pick up a parcel. Pain in the arse.
First of all, let’s just confirm that this alleged postal outlet wasteland does indeed exist. Here’s a map of the fifty Canada Post locations nearest to the intersection of Vaughan Road and St. Clair Avenue West, from Canada Post’s website:
Yup, it looks like Adam’s area is sporting a nice little postal bald spot. Meanwhile, north of Eglinton Avenue and south of Dupont Street, things are looking pretty thick and lustrous. Weird.
We asked Canada Post for an explanation.
The most immediate reason for the postal gap is that the single postal outlet that had existed there was forced to shut down recently. Jennifer Arnott, a spokesperson for Canada Post, said that the lone postal outlet had closed over the summer, “for business reasons.” The outlet was located at 509 St. Clair Avenue West.
As to why there would only have been a single postal outlet serving such a large area, Arnott thinks it might have had to do with a dearth of suitable locations. Canada Post retail outlets are franchises, meaning they require third parties to agree to finance and operate them. Starting a new retail outlet is a little like opening a fast food restaurant, except Canada Post is more discriminating than, say, KFC, when it comes to who they’ll allow to own and operate one of their locations. They actively scout for franchisees, and they only enlist those located in target areas.
Toronto’s postal barrens are, at this time, one such target area.
“We are currently looking for a new location in that area and hope to open a new postal outlet as soon as possible in 2010,” said Arnott.