Postal Boxes

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Effective: 2019-01-14


What Are Postal Boxes?

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Postal Boxes, often known as Post Office Boxes or PO Boxes, are locked compartments within a Post Office. The Postal Box is to be used only to receive mail items sent to you through Canada Post approved services and not as a storage or security compartment. The use of the Postal Box is not transferable.

There are three types of Postal Box services available from Canada Post:

Prime Mode Postal Box
Provided at no charge, when the mode of mail delivery for the applicable civic or physical address has been designated by Canada Post as a postal box.
Customers may rent a Convenience Postal Box in place of, or in addition to, their Prime mode of delivery, for a fee.
Convenience Postal Box
A convenient, secure and affordable means for customers to receive mail at an address other than their primary address. Customers can choose the appropriate size for the volume/amount of mail they typically receive, select a rental term (3, 6 or 12 months) that best suits them and renew the rental indefinitely.
General Delivery
  • When customers cannot receive mail through any other available free mode of delivery (for example, if Canada Post does not otherwise have a free mode of delivery available in the area)
  • General Delivery is also offered to the travelling public for a period of up to four months.
In Canada, the term “GENERAL DELIVERY” is used in English and “POSTE RESTANTE” in French. The international term, however, is always “POSTE RESTANTE”.
Canada Post reserves the right to terminate or re-assign Postal Boxes at any time.


Size of Postal Boxes

The appropriate size of Postal Box should be selected to accommodate the typical volume of mail received.

Postal Boxes
Approximate Size
Ideal For
Small or General Delivery
90 mm x 130 mm x 360 mm
Letter envelopes
140 mm x 130 mm x 360 mm
For letter, legal and large brown envelopes
290 mm x 130 mm x 360 mm
Handles virtually all size letters,
envelopes and various sized parcels
290 mm x 270 mm x 360 mm
600 mm x 280 mm x 360 mm
Container and Bag Service
Bulk or enterprise mail collection for
large volume receivers

If the current Postal Box cannot accommodate the typical volume of mail received, the post office may request that the customers transition to an appropriate Postal Box size. An increase in the Convenience Postal Box rental price may apply. In certain situations, Canada Post may provide Mail Forwarding service free of charge when customers transition to the next Postal Box size.

Bag or Container Service is a form of Postal Box service used to accommodate customers with large volumes of mail. Bags or Container Service is offered to customers under the same terms and conditions as Convenience Postal Boxes, except different fees apply.


Postal Box Keys

Key deposit
A key deposit is required.
Number of keys
Two keys are provided to access the Postal Box and, if applicable, a security key to access the postal box lobby after normal business hours.
Copying keys
All keys remain the property of Canada Post and must be returned on request.
Fully refundable when all keys are returned.
Lost or damaged keys
A fee equal to the key deposit fee applies.
Changing the lock
Both keys must be returned for a refund (at the original key deposit price). Current key deposit price will apply for the new set of keys.
Customers who return only one key will not receive a refund.


Mail Forwarding of Mail from Postal Boxes

In order for mail to be forwarded from a Postal Box, a Mail Forwarding request must be in effect. Mail items addressed to a shared Postal Box (e.g., where several businesses have a common postal address) may not be redirected unless all of the mail addressed to the Postal Box is forwarded to another single address (see Mail Forwarding Service).



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All customers wishing to receive Postal Box service must sign and agree to the Postal Box Terms and Conditions. Where applicable, the customer must pay the rental price and key deposit(s) in advance for the rental period selected.

Current, valid, original customer identification must be provided at the time of rental/activation and also at the time of renewal. When picking up mail or otherwise acting on behalf of another person, including a corporation or other organization, the individual must prove his/her authority to act on behalf of the person. See section 4.2 of Policies. The use of customer information gathered by Canada Post is governed by the Privacy Act.


Payment Options

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The following methods of payment are acceptable for Postal Boxes service:

  • cheque
  • credit card (where available)
  • money order
  • cash
  • debit card (where available)
Commercial customers may pay by Account to renew their Postal Box rentals. Contact your Canada Post representative or the Commercial Service Network at 1-866-757-5480.

Convenience Postal Boxes must be paid in advance for the selected rental period. For current Convenience Postal Box rental prices, ask your post office representative or see Canada Post Prices.


Renewal and Termination of Postal Box Service

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When customers have rented a Postal Box, written renewal reminders are typically provided prior to the end of the rental period. If your Postal Box service is not renewed on or before the expiry of the rental period, the service may be terminated on the day after the rental period ends.
If a Postal Box is terminated because the Postal Box was used inappropriately, including, without limitation, for an unlawful purpose or in a manner contrary to the Canada Post Corporation Act and Regulations, you will not receive a refund of the rental price and key deposits.
Whenever the Postal Box service is terminated or cancelled, the addressee must have a valid Mail Forwarding request in effect with Canada Post, in order to have the mail redirected to another address. For more information see Mail Forwarding Service.

Customers may request the cancellation of the Convenience Postal Box service at any time and a refund may apply. See Canada Post Prices at for more information.



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General enquiries concerning Postal Boxes should be directed to your local post office representative or Customer Service by email at: or by calling 1-800-267-1177.


Customer Service Glossary General Terms and Conditions Canada Post Corporation Act and Regulations