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How do Canadian postal services work?

The postal system in Canada is government-owned and operated. Mail is delivered every weekday except on official holidays.

The Canada Post Corporation handles mail delivery in Canada. You can get information on their website about how to:

  • Find a post office
  • Get postage rates
  • Get postal codes for addresses in Canada
  • Track a package
  • Redirect your mail (for example, when you move)

How do I mail a letter or parcel?

To send a letter or parcel, you have to pay postage.

The cost of the postage depends on the weight and size of the mail, where it is going and on how fast you want it to get there.

You can buy postage online or at any post office. Some shops, such as newsstands, sell stamps.

Letters and small parcels (that have enough postage) can go into the red Canada Post mail boxes on the street.

If you are sending a parcel to a different country, you must fill out a customs form. The form describes the contents of the parcel and their dollar value. You can get a customs form at a post office near you.

How do I write the address?

Envelope

Canada Post has detailed information about how to write the address. If you don't know the postal code, you can look up a postal code online.

What if I do not have a mailing address in Canada?

Until you find a place to live, you can:

  • Ask if you can use the mailing address of a relative or friend. Tell people to send mail to you "care of" (c/o) that relative or friend.
  • Ask for general delivery service at the post office. This service is known internationally as "poste restante."
  • Rent a mailbox at the post office or a store that sells business services.

You can contact a community agency for more information about using the postal system. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

For More Information

  • Canada Post Corporation - Information about the products and services that Canada Post provides.
  • Post Offices in Canada - Find the nearest post office to you.
  • Estimate Duties and Taxes - Use this tool from Canada Post to estimate the cost of duties, taxes and other fees for importing goods to a particular country.
  • ABCs of Mailing - This guide from Canada Post explains how to measure, weigh and wrap items. It also has information about shipping and tracking options.
Last Updated: March 20, 2013
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