I just finished a road trim through parts of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

One thing I noticed was the predominance of group boxes in the rural areas. These are not new developments, but well established hamlets and farm land.

Here in the part of Ontario where I live, the area too consists of well-established settlements and farms (coupled with the over smattering of new residences scattered all over). With the exception of the hamlets (which never had mail delivery in the 225 plus years many of them have existed) mail is still delivered to individual mail boxes at the end of lanes and driveways (I distinguish between a farm lane and the shorter driveways of the newer housing).

Why is it that in the three provinces I visited east of here, they have the energy and gumption to use the group box delivery method while here in the “heartland” we find it difficult to give up getting mail in a box that is susceptible to damage by maintenance equipment?

An acquaintance of mine moved from a residence where mail was delivered to their box to a new subdivision where the group box had been established. She found that the group box was actually more convenient. Parcels were delivered to the group box (placed in a large compartment and a key left); pick up of to be delivered mail was possible, conveniences that weren’t available on the normal rural route delivery.

There are a few reasons why we could have stubbornly kept the old delivery system:

• We’re basically too stubborn to change
• We aren’t bright enough to understand that there may be advantages to the group box.
• We’re too selfish to “give up” anything even if it actually offers better service.
• We’re a bit lazy and going for the mail except at the end of our short driveway. Although I’ve seen many “rural” compatriots drive to the end of their driveway instead of walking.
• It is just too much of a bother to think of stopping anywhere but home when on one of the 10 plus auto trips a day that seem to come from a typical residence.

I don’t have an answer to any of this, but maybe it is time for “rural” Ontario to get with the program and accept group box mail delivery (and pickup).

The Plaidneck