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Safety concerns prevent TCHC residents from receiving mail

Last Updated Mar 7, 2019 at 9:52 pm EDT

*UPDATE: In a statement sent to CityNews a day after this story aired, Canada Post confirmed that mail delivery would resume at 101, 11 and 121 Kendleton Drive on Monday, March 11, 2019.

Thousands of residents in three Etobicoke buildings are frustrated after more than a month of not having their mail delivered to them.

Notices posted in the lobbies of three Toronto Community Housing Corporation buildings near Kipling Avenue and Albion Road directs tenants that their mail can be picked up at a facility less than three kilometres away.

Tenants tell CityNews the facility is only open from 9 a.m. to noon which makes it difficult for anyone who works during the day to pick up their mail. As well, many of the residents are seniors, people with mobility issues and on low or fixed incomes so even getting out to retrieve their mail is not a simple task.

“Tenants have told me that it’s costing them $20 to go get their mail,” said Thomas Boehler, a long-time resident and volunteer at the buldings. He adds the delay in resolving the issue is having a potentially devastating effect on the residents.

“You have tenants, that when the mail was stopped, that became the hydro, the rent and the cable to be paid on time. It’s not getting paid because people have to wait to get their mail.”

Canada Post says staff safety was behind the decision to suspend mail delivery.

“Mail delivery to three apartment buildings on Kendleton Drive was suspended in February following several assaults against our delivery agent,” read a statement sent to CityNews. “Our employees’ safety is our top priority. As an employer, it is our responsibility to ensure that their workplace is safe.”

A TCHC spokesperson tells CityNews they are working with Canada Post to find a solution so that mail service can be restored as soon as possible.

“What Toronto Community Housing is doing here is not acceptable,” says Boehler. “It’s doesn’t take 44 days to get security at 4 o’clock in the afternoon to bring them in and do the job right. It’s not rocket science.”

This is not the first time concerns over staff safety has halted mail delivery. Last summer, CityNews reported that mail was not being delivered to a Scarborough building after a Canada Post employee was threatened.