Ever since I can remember I've heard the comment that there is "no difference" between Canadians and Americans. I respectfully beg to differ as there is a difference on so many levels! We have unique Canadian culture consisting of Canadianisms, a Canadian perspective on world events, Canadian cuisine as well as products and foods only available in Canada. This blog is dedicated to celebrating all things Canadian from "my perspective" as a Canadian. Please enjoy your visit and be sure to visit often.

Garden Gnome
Americans should never underestimate the constant pressure on Canada which the mere presence of the United States has produced. We're different people from you and we're different people because of you. Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is effected by every twitch and grunt. It should not therefore be expected that this kind of nation, this Canada, should project itself as a mirror image of the United States.
- Pierre Trudeau

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Canadian Postal Codes

The Canadian postal code system was introduced by Communications Minister Eric Kierans in  February of 1970 although a numbered zone coding system had been in use in some major Canadian cities to varying degrees since 1925.  Toronto was the first Canadian city to use a numbered zone and the system spread to other major cities in 1940.  The new 6-digit postal code was rolled out over a four year period starting in the test city of Ottawa and the rest of Canada by the end of 1974.  The new postal code system allowed Canada Post to speed up and simplify the flow of mail in Canada.  The union held a protest of the new postal code system asking for a boycott and ensuring any mail without postal codes received priority treatment.  The boycott was called off in February of 1976.

The Canadian postal code system is comprised of 6 digits in two groups of three separated by a space.  The format is letter, number, letter space number, letter, number.  The letters are capitalized.  The first three digits is the Forward Sortation Area (FSA) and the last three digits are the Local Distribution Unit (LDU).  Canada is broken into postal code districts  which is the first letter of the FSA.  The code district begins with A (Newfoundland Labador) and moving westward from the Maritime provinces through the alphabet.  So any postal code beginning with P is northern Ontario while R is Manitoba.  The LDU represents a range of addresses within that unit for hand delivery.  One side of the street may have a different LDU than the other side depending on the location.

Mail not address correctly with the postal code is returned asundeliverable.  As a result a large number of letters to Santa were returned.   In 1983 the Santa Clause letter response program was initiated with the special postal code H0H 0H0.  Canada Post has hard copy and online resources for easily looking up Canadian postal codes.


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