Opening of second Iqaluit post office means change for some residents

People now have to provide full mailing address; city working with Canada Post to update database

Iqaluit’s new, second post office is in the Astro Hill complex. (Photo by Livete Ataguyuk)

By Nunatsiaq News

Iqalummiut have had to scramble to get new post office boxes as Canada Post opens its new second location at the Astro Hill complex.

When the city was served by just one Canada Post outlet, on Queen Elizabeth Way, only a box number was required to receive mail.

Now, Canada Post requires residents to provide a civic address, including a house number and street name.

“We have provided Canada Post with our most recent database but there were units added that aren’t covered by that,” said city spokesperson Kent Driscoll in an email.

“It has been educational to see just how many unregistered units there are in Iqaluit.”

In a news release last week, the City of Iqaluit announced residents who do not have proof of address will receive a civic address verification form at the post office.

The forms are available in English, Inuktitut and French.

People should bring the form to the city’s land and planning division office in building 901 — upstairs at the Arnaitok Arena, the same building as the fire hall — where municipal planning staff will verify their address.

If nobody is available to help, people are asked to fill out the form as best they can and leave it in the dropbox to be processed.

Driscoll said the process has worked efficiently so far.

He called the process “a learning experience” for the city and Canada Post, and residents as well, as they get accustomed to sending and receiving mail using their civic address.

About 120 people have stopped by the office so far, according to Mathew Dodds, Iqaluit’s city planner, and since the day of the change the city has sent approximately 250 newly discovered addresses to Canada Post.

When Canada Post announced in August 2022 that Iqaluit would get a second post office, it indicated that about half of the city’s residents would be served at the new site.

At the time, it said growth in online shopping shipments created the need for a second post office in Iqaluit.

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(29) Comments:

  1. Posted by northerner on

    Though I understand the need for new boxes and building, I wonder why Canada Post decided to do this move during the busiest shipping season. Waiting till the new year would have been a lot better.

    • Posted by Imagine on

      Imagine how much simpler things would have been if Canada Post had said, “There’s a new post office with lots of post office boxes. Anyone who wants to move from the old post office to the new one, come and get your new keys. Anyone who does not now have a post office box and wants one now, come to the new post office and get one. If you don’t have a post office box and want one at the old post office, please wait until January 5. By then we expect to have lots of boxes available there.”
      So simple. So easy. Presuming the Astro Hill post office is where more than a few people want one.

  2. Posted by Nix on

    It would be nice if the city actually provided Canada Post with the correct street names. My license has the correct street name, and the one the city used is some other nearby street name, and now nothing matches and no one will budge.

    • Posted by Zero forethought on

      Same. My mortgage, bank, credit cards, CRA all have a different street name. Very poor job in this transition.
      New post office is dangerous to drive to too – poor sight lines and uneven road, hardly any parking, cabs constantly cut off pedestrians at the door and park blocking clear passage. This PO is less accessible by foot (it is out of the way from normal traffic) so more people have to drive and park. Very poorly thought out.

  3. Posted by Special Delivery of Confusion on

    While the opening of a new post office in Iqaluit is a significant development, the process has been fraught with confusion and inconvenience, particularly for local businesses.

    The initial assurance that box numbers would remain unchanged, followed by a sudden shift to new requirements, has caused significant disruptions. Businesses are now burdened with the tedious task of updating all their official documents – a process involving regulators, the Canada Revenue Agency, insurance companies, and legal entities.

    This not only represents a substantial waste of time but also a lack of foresight and planning.

    The management of this transition seems to have been poorly executed, and it raises serious questions about the competency of those in charge. A more thoughtful and communicative approach could have greatly mitigated these issues. Who ever headed this up should be fired!

    • Posted by Observer on

      Oh no! You mean they’ll have to do something that companies south of 60 have to do fairly regularly?

      • Posted by Tired on

        I’ve operated businesses in the South and I’ve NEVER had my address pulled out from under me let alone with no notice after being told it wouldn’t.

        You’re playing make believe.

        • Posted by We Are Joining the 20th Century, 1/4 of the Way Through the 21st on

          And I too have formerly operated businesses elsewhere in the country. Admittedly, it has been a few decades since there was a major reorganization of addresses and post codes like what we are experiencing, and most addresses changes now are one offs.

          However, when we switched to civic addresses years ago every single customer and supplier address needed to be updated. It was a massive undertaking and it took a couple of years to shake out all of the errors.

          If you were operating a business 25-30 years ago then this whole thing would be familiar to you. If you have been in business less than that, then this may seem new and unusual.

          Doesn’t really matter, we are now joining the way that the rest of the country does it, and the way that we should have started doing it from day one of the territory.

          Wait until we start getting a 911 system (the natural offshoot of having civic addresses) and the reorganization that you’ll have to do with that.

    • Posted by John WP Murphy on

      Not to forget the updating of your accounting records to change the addresses of all your customers and suppliers.

    • Posted by Usual and Expected on

      A usual and expected cost of doing business I’d think.

  4. Posted by Northener on

    Love the layout, huge parking lot at the loading area. And barely any at the entrance, i quess they want us to walk our parcels a half mile through a traffic jamb of vehicles and snow and ice not to mention the 50 km winds on top of that hill to the side of the building. Well planned

  5. Posted by Postmaster General on

    Welcome to the USSR!
    Absolutely no consideration for anyone except Canada Post.
    Only a monopoly service can operate like this.
    I went to the post office today and asked when the promised mail forwarding would start.
    They did not know.
    I asked if anyone had received any mail since the change.
    I was told, “a few letters had been put into mailboxes.”
    Fire whoever is in charge of this mess.
    Fire the Postmaster General for being responsible for such a disaster.
    Probably brought to us by the same folks responsible for the federal Phoenix payroll un-system.

    • Posted by Oh Bless on

      Mff, postmaster general. Oh bless, but that’s precious. However, I do wish that Canada Post had taxpayer money in it – services could only be better.

  6. Posted by Poorly managed on

    For residents and businesses, this was extremely poor roll out. For many businesses it has been weeks since they have received mail. Complaints should be made to the MP as it is a federal corporation.

  7. Posted by Northern Guy on

    Not sure what all the complaining is about. Canada Post os simply applying the rules that have existed in the rest of Canada for decades. To be sure this move has exposed all the sketchy business and living arrangements that exist in Iqaluit but that’s not Canada Post’s problem.

      • Posted by Northern Guy on

        Post office boxes have to be tied to a specific civic address and NOT to an individual user or business. If you want a separate box as an individual or business you can get one but it will cost money to rent. The PO box attached to a civic address is free. It has been this way in the rest of Canada for decades. Time for Iqaluit to wake up!

    • Posted by Catching Up to the 90s on

      Exactly. Post office boxes went away in favour of civic addresses in the late 90s if I recall. Round about ‘superbox’ rollout time.

  8. Posted by Put some Inuit art on it and call it a win on

    Canada Post, we just wanted more boxes and less wait time. Maybe a number system with some chairs to sit and wait if you were feeling fancy. You manufactured new problems by not understanding the needs of your community. I wonder how many locals were involved in the planning of this change?

  9. Posted by John K on

    I love comments like this because they serve to highlight how uninformed the average Canadian has become.

    Canada hasn’t had a Postmaster General since the 1980’s. If we did it would mean that Canada Post was still run like a public service and this mess likely wouldn’t have happened.

  10. Posted by Go Figure on

    Okay so will this fix the issue of our mail given to someone else? 😕

    • Posted by Mailbox user on

      Nope! Just check out Iqaluit PSAs, it’s still happening.

  11. Posted by anon on

    “In a news release last week, the City of Iqaluit announced residents who do not have proof of address will receive a civic address verification form at the post office.”

    This is nice and all, but the release a) doesn’t inform anyone about what people who have no fixed address will do, b) requires people to make two separate stops (one to get the form and one to drop it off at 901), and c) doesn’t tell you what the next steps are once the form has been dropped off.

    It’s hard to believe that this new post office was in the works for over a year and this is apparently the best outcome of that.

  12. Posted by Homeless in Iqaluit on

    What about the many hundreds of us who are homeless in Iqaluit? I’ve heard that there may be as many as 1000 of us couch-surfers in Iqaluit. Hundreds of us are employed full time by the GN.
    Even if we didn’t have a house, we at least had a post office box, based upon where we used to live.
    With this change, our choice is to get mail at General Delivery or pay $360 each year to rent a “conveience box”. Life is a stuggle when you are homeless. If you don’t think so, try it some time.
    A mailing address is no convenience. It’s a necessity. Try dealing with Revenue Canada or a reputable credit card company with a general delivery address. The $360 is in no way related to the cost of that little box. It’s a complete ripp-off by a monopoly.

  13. Posted by Northern Guy on

    Because contrary to what most Iqaliutmmiut seem to think that’s not how PO boxes are handled anymore in Canada and they haven’t been handled that way for decades. Your PO box is tied to your civic address, like in the rest of Canada. The division of the boxes is likely based on the geographic position of your civic address with upper Iqaluit at the Astro and lower Iqaluit at the old location. Time for everyone to grow up and stop whining.

    • Posted by anon on

      I would have no issue with my mailbox being at the new location if it didn’t STILL take me an hour to get my mail. But now I (and everyone else who got moved) have all of the problems that existed at the old post office, with 100% more inconvenience involved in getting there.

  14. Posted by Aputi on

    Mean while in arviat where we wait days if not weeks for our parcels where it’s located at the northern store with a small office and small space and yet you guys are complaining about a new post office

    • Posted by Not Complaining About New Office on

      the grievances being voiced are about not about the new office, but the continued poor service along with the distressing trend of mail being lost or not delivered over the past two weeks. It’s understandable that anyone would express dissatisfaction if they were to arrive and discover their mailbox missing and their mail unaccounted for!

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