The more Toronto staff look at them, the more problems seem to arise from community mailboxes.
Canada Post will be installing the mailboxes everywhere, but the downtown core.
On June 15, the Toronto and East York Community Council heard from staff, community groups and homeowners about the prospect of the mailboxes that will facilitate the end of door-to-door mail delivery.
The community mailboxes are big, and while staff confirmed Canada Post won’t be locating them in the downtown core of the city, East York, Riverdale and the Beach will likely have to accommodate them starting in 2018.
And some of those neighbourhoods – particularly the more densely packed ones – will have to accommodate quite a few.
Stephen Cameron Smith, from the Deerpark Residents Association, told the committee he expected his street would be crowded with the boxes.
“On our street we would need four or five of these boxes for a street of 52 people,” he said.
Briar De Lang, of the Woodbine Gardens Homeowners Association, said Canada Post could expect a fight from homeowners in her community, particularly if they tried to locate a box on a front lawn.
“I couldn’t find a homeowner in our neighbourhood who would be interested in having this put on their front lawns,” she said. “We’ve got seniors, people with disabilities...People are going to be incredibly upset.”
There are other issues city staff haven’t yet received adequate response on. While Canada Post will maintain responsibility for clearing snow and little around the mailboxes, staff noted litter is a problem around community mailboxes in other jurisdictions.
City staff have also noted locating community mailboxes in high traffic areas will result in more congestion as residents will likely collect mail as part of their commutes during rush hour.
Councillors at the Toronto and East York Community Council showed little optimism the mailboxes would be able to fit into older neighbourhoods of the city.
“There is very limited real estate for things that look like what we’re seeing today when we put the urban design lens on top of what’s before us, we are heading to a juncture of disaster,” said Toronto Centre-Rosedale Councillor Krystin Wong-Tam.
Beaches-East York Councillor Janet Davis warned many homeowners are going to find an unwelcome guest on their front lawn in the form of the large community mailboxes.
“I would say to anyone in the City of Toronto who has a corner lot – good luck,” she said. “These are the preferred locations: on corner lots, at or near parks and public spaces, where we have sidewalks. These are the preferred locations.”
The community council asked for further reports and information to be presented in September. On July 18, the planning and growth management committee will also be debating the matter.