Major refit of Little Current Canada Post office currently underway

Shiny new postal boxes are installed at the Canada Post offices in Little Current. The new boxes require new keys and are seeing some size changes. Work is being conducted in phases to not inconvenience clients. photo by Michael Erskine

LITTLE CURRENT—Plans are underway for a major refit of the post office in downtown Little Current, turning the facility into a pilot business hub that will provide a host of new services and feature a revamp of the internal postal boxes to street addressing and provide parcel pickup options.

Included in the proposed retrofit plans are several outside changes such as a new improved access ramp, electric vehicle and bicycle charging stations and a large mural featuring a painting by Little Current Indigenous artist Duncan Pheasant. The outside changes need the approval of the Northeast Town council, and the plans were presented and approved during the September 20 meeting of council.

The internal changes to the building do not require council approval as Northeast Town CAO Dave Williamson is empowered to act as landlord and approves the leasehold improvements.

The new addressing for the postal boxes will require new keys for customers who utilize the postal boxes and the box layout will change somewhat, but the process will largely remain the same for Canada Post clients.

On the Canada Post side, the postal boxes will be arranged according to street, rather than random boxes and sorters will load the boxes by street address, rather than by post office box number. The change should alleviate some frustration for customers who have had challenges to get companies and organizations sending them mail to use the postal box number—now the street number address will be all that is needed.

Included in the changes will be a system for customers to pick up parcels delivered through the post boxes.

Holly Gill, manager of retail optimization at Canada Post, provided a presentation to council at its September 27 meeting in which she outlined the changes underway.

Ms. Gill noted that the Duncan Pheasant mural will be a blow-up of the original artwork that will be attached to the side of the building in a manner that will allow for removal, replacement or upgrade/repair should it be necessary in the future.

Work on the new post office boxes is being done in stages so as to least inconvenience clients who depend on Canada Post services, said Ms. Gill.

While concerns have been expressed by some downtown merchants that changes would reduce downtown traffic, postal officials assert the opposite will be the case as the business hub concept is aimed at increasing utilization of Canada Post services. The new business hub concept is being rolled out in three locations across the country, Little Current being the second expected to go operational while a third in Saskatchewan is already in operation.

Among the new services will be some financial service options in partnership with the TD MyMoneyLoan program. That program has already rolled out, stopping short of banking services long lobbied for by postal unions and the federal NDP.

More details on the business hub services are anticipated to be released soon.

Among the outdoor changes to the post office building (the building is owned by the Northeast Town and the larger portion is occupied by the municipal offices) are two charging stations for vehicles on the parking lot side and two electric bicycle charging stations to be located on the North side of the building.

A proposal for Canada Post to expand its footprint inside the building (after having been reduced a number of years ago) was rejected as the municipal offices have since expanded into the previously space relinquished by Canada Post.