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Dec. 14, 2019 | Saturday
Local News
Old Town post office now open Saturdays
Canada Post office on Queen Street. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

The Canada Post office in Niagara-on-the-Lake is now operating on Saturdays.

In addition to the usual Monday to Friday hours, the Queen Street location is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Back in 2017, when NOTL resident Julia Buxton-Cox created a website and a petition to deal with the problem of returned mail without a post office box number on it, one of the issues that came up with residents was the lack of Saturday hours at the Queen Street location.

Buxton-Cox said she kept sending requests to Canada Post’s head office throughout 2018. In February of this year, she decided to try a different route and sent an online request to customer service at Canada Post saying there was a need for Saturday hours as some residents couldn’t access their mailboxes on the weekend. 

“And the fact that it was a residential service that was offered in St. Davids and Virgil on Saturdays anyway, it just didn’t make sense to us,” she told The Lake Report. “There are 2,000 post boxes in downtown, why weren’t the residents here already serviced?”

She said she was really surprised to see the office is now open on Saturdays.

“It was a little win for us. Just made me happy that sometimes the little guy wins,” she said in a phone interview.

The decision to open longer was based on the “changing and growing needs of customers,” said Nicole Lecompte, a media relations spokesperson for Canada Post.

“Like most businesses, Canada Post assesses the needs of its customers on an ongoing basis. This is part of standard business practice,” Lecompte said in an email response to The Lake Report. “The decision to change the post office hours was taken this year.”

A local Canada Post employee said extra hours of operation were added to provide better service to residents and tourists.

“I haven’t heard it myself but I think that there were suggestions how to better serve the Niagara-on-the-Lake community and extend the hours into evenings and on Saturdays as well,” she told The Lake Report.

NOTL resident Bruce Harvey, who stopped by the post office last Saturday, said he thinks the changes were made to accommodate tourists.

“A lot of tourists are buying stamps and mailing postcards,” he told The Lake Report. “I think it’s a good thing for tourists in the summer, like from May till October.”

Another NOTL resident, Asti Livingston, shared the same sentiments, noting NOTL is bustling with tourists each weekend.

“I think that’s why they decided to have it open on the weekends,” she said. “It’s lovely, I think it’s good because a lot of the tourists who come here want to send letters out or they want to catch up with some stuff and they realize everything is closed, except for the tourist stuff.”

Hallie Arrigon from Cleveland, Ohio, who was in town last Saturday, used the post office to send postcards to some of her college friends.

“We got some postcards from a shop a couple of blocks away and asked about getting stamps and the women there told us they thought the post office was closed on Saturdays,” Arrigon said, adding she and her companion were “pleasantly surprised” when they saw it was open.

Amity Small, who travelled to NOTL from New Hampshire for the long weekend also had some postcards to send home. She said she didn’t know the post office was open on Saturday but was “pleased to drop them off.”

“To get out on the weekend and get some stuff mailed, it’s good,” she said.

Old Town resident Anne Milchberg said she was “thrilled” with the new hours, while Erica Moncion said it was convenient for people who work all day and can’t make it to the post office on time.

“I think residents here are really going to appreciate having those extra hours on Saturdays,” she said, noting she wasn’t sure how many tourists would access the local post office. “But it’s always a nice service that’s available should they want to buy something and mail it.”

“It’s good for us that it’s open late a couple of nights a week,” Bryan Moncion agreed. “That way … when we’re busy, we don’t have to worry and can get here by 7 (p.m.),”

On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday the office is open from 8 a.m till 7 p.m. On Wednesday and Friday, it runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Sundays. The new Saturday hours came into effect on June 10.

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