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Orillia man frustrated after two years of waiting for community mailbox

Mehreen Shahid

By Mehreen Shahid, Orillia Packet & Times

MEHREEN SHAHID/THE PACKET & TIMES
Jonathan Wagner is pictured on the Emperor Drive lot in Orillia where he was promised a community mailbox two years ago.

MEHREEN SHAHID/THE PACKET & TIMES Jonathan Wagner is pictured on the Emperor Drive lot in Orillia where he was promised a community mailbox two years ago.

Jonathan Wagner would be happy if the postman rang even once.

 

It has been two years since he moved into his house on Emperor Drive in west Orillia, yet even with that much time having passed, he and neighbours on his side of the street still don’t have their community mailboxes.

This summer, he received the key to what would be his community mailbox slot, but still no mailboxes.

In 2014, he said, “We were told we would have community mailboxes installed on the street and it was supposed to be done by winter. I thought, ‘OK, give it a few weeks.’”

Several weeks later, when nothing had been installed, Wagner went to the Canada Post office on Peter Street to inquire.

“They said mailboxes are supposed to be in before the ground froze or, at the latest, by the spring of 2015,” he said.

In the meantime, he was told, he could pick up his mail from the downtown location, though he was informed it had to be done during the week, between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. — not the easiest arrangement for a couple with full-time jobs and two young kids.

Even with juggling their schedules to accommodate the extra trip downtown, Wagner missed a couple of utility bill payments, adding to his frustration.

“I had to rearrange my schedule and move things around with the kids so I wouldn’t miss another mail pickup and be overdue on a bill,” he said.

He is frustrated by the extra drive and the fuel costs incurred.

“It’s been extremely irritating,” he added. “It’s something you take for granted, especially having mail delivered right to your door. It’s helpful, and then it’s gone.”

In his search for identifying the party responsible for the installation of the community mailbox, Wagner said, he went several times from Canada Post to his builder, Mancini Homes, to the developer, Charter Construction, but still didn’t get a clear answer.

When reached by the Packet & Times, Charter Construction declined comment.

In a recent email exchange, Charter Construction told Wagner temporary mailboxes had been installed in his neighbourhood and advised him to call Canada Post customer service if his key did not work.

If that were the case, he wrote back, his mail wouldn’t have still been delivered to the downtown post office.

“I feel, honestly, I’m at the whim of everybody else,” said Wagner. “I would like someone to communicate with me and give me a realistic expectation, and that’s been non-existent right from the beginning. You just feel you’re neglected as a paying customer, that you’re forgotten about, and that’s not right.”

In response to the Packet & Times’ inquiries, Canada Post spokesperson Mouktar Abdillahi said in an email Thursday, “When it comes to new developments, the developer provides Canada Post with a site location and makes sure it is prepared to receive a mailbox. We just received the site location today and we hope to have a community mailbox ready by end of this week or early next week at the latest. We’re in the process of communicating this information to the customers and we appreciate their patience.”

Wagner still wonders why it took so long.

“Why did it take two years to do that? It doesn’t make sense. Why couldn’t this have been done in fall of 2014, when I bought the house?” he said.

“I’m skeptical. I’ll believe it when I see it and when I can actually go open the box with my key,” he added. “I think it’ll be nice to finally enjoy the benefits of having mail dropped off in my neighbourhood.”

mshahid@postmedia.com

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