Alphanumeric jumble: Canada

H0H 0H0

Canadian postal district
Creator:OnTheWorldMap.com
Information extracted from IPTC Photo Metadata; H is Montreal, N is Toronto
Meh. No US states, Canadian provinces, or territories starting with J. I could punt, but I decided to go arcane. Thus the alphanumeric jumble that is the Canadian postal codes.

When the US came up with ZIP Codes back in 1963, it made sense to me. Canada followed with postal codes in the early 1970s, which also exist in parts of Europe. The Canadian codes are “in the format A1A 1A1, where A is a letter and 1 is a digit, with a space separating the third and fourth characters.”

In the United States, large cities had zones for mail delivery as early as 1943. Chicago 9, Illinois was the location of the Spiegel catalog, I recall from many game shows. When ZIP Codes came into being, the third address line was: Chicago, IL 60609.

Likewise, large cities in Canada had zones, with Toronto starting way back in 1925, Montreal in 1944, and other cities in the 1960s. The powers that be started a three-digit code in Toronto in 1969, but then quickly abandoned it, inconveniencing businesses and residents alike.

In the Canadian system, the first three characters represent the forward sortation area. The FSA is “a geographical region in which all postal codes start with the same three characters. The first letter of an FSA code denotes a particular ‘postal district’, which, outside Quebec and Ontario, corresponds to an entire province or territory.”

The latter three characters represent the Local Delivery Unit.

“Postal codes do not include the letters D, F, I, O, Q or U.” I assume this is to avoid confusion, the D, O, Q, and U with a zero, F with E, and the I with a one.

I love the Santa Claus postal code, which is H0H 0H0. “The postal service responds each year to tens of thousands of children’s letters from around the world,” in the writers’ own language. The address, in case you need it:
SANTA CLAUS
NORTH POLE H0H 0H0
CANADA

or

PÈRE NOËL
PÔLE NORD H0H 0H0
CANADA

You DO see the significance of the postal code, yes/oui?

For J on ABC Wednesday

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. i hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

5 thoughts on “Alphanumeric jumble: Canada”

  1. This was interesting to me. I am scratching my head to remember our postal code in Montreal in the 60s.
    OK I’m back, had to get my external hard drive out to find scanned envelopes/post cards from the 1960s. Et voila!!! It was 29.

  2. how interesting and intriguing at the same time Roger…. and although I never searched for it, I am suprised to read that Santa indeed has an adress and answeringservice 😉

    Have a heartwarming en splendid ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    M e l o d y (team ABC-W)
    https://melodyk.nl/25-J

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