Email, Twitter, Facebook – this is how we communicate today. The quantity of regular mail continues to decline, causing Canada Post to review the big picture. Since Confederation in 1867, citizens have been receiving mail delivery to their residences via the government service. However, whether you like it or not, Canada Post announced late in 2013 their master plan to phase out home delivery to Canadians in urban regions, opting instead for community depots. As well, the price of stamps increases dramatically. As of March 31st, a single stamp will cost you a buck, 85 cents if you buy in bulk.

Putting the politics of this scenario aside, I am mourning the loss of the art of mail.

The greeting card is at risk of extinction. I used to make them by hand, and I have a crafty friend in Ottawa who still does. She may need another hobby to while away those cold winter afternoons! (One of her creations is shown here on the right) What a treat to have a birthday or Christmas card arrive at your doorstep from a far-away friend. How it lifts your spirits and makes your day. The card is so beautiful, you display it on the mantel for several days of continued enjoyment. Animated e-cards, although good for a quick chuckle, just don’t have the same heart warming

The other art form at risk is the humble mailbox. Having home delivery has prompted home sunflower mailboxowners to personalize the box that adorns their homes, adding to the personality of the neighbourhood. A quick tour around Powell River reveals some authentic beauties. Carved from wood, crafted from copper, hand painted with care, it is not difficult to see how the mailbox is part of our lives. How sad to think that this Canadian form of folk art will be unused, collecting only cobwebs from neglect.

3 mailboxes


I can only hope that these two art forms will continue in some new way. Perhaps there will be Museums and Art Galleries across the country dedicated to the art of mail. Maybe Interior Designers will adapt the mailbox as the latest trend in end tables or lighting fixtures. In the meantime, until the final phase-out of home delivery, I am going to appreciate the cards and mailboxes just a little bit more.