Canada Post outlet gets reprieve

Store owner gets to keep his postal outlet after battle with national mail carrier over new contract

Community members who rallied to save a Canada Post outlet from closure have succeeded.

The outlet, owned by Paul Ju and located in the Grand Bargain variety store on Dundas Street West, was to be closed at the end of October, Canada Post said earlier in the month.

The announcement took Ju — and those in the community who use the service regularly — by surprise.

“I have hundreds of people come in everyday to send packages,” Ju said.

The nearest postal outlet is located at Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue West, more than half a kilometre away.

The Grand Bargain has had a postal outlet since 1992. When Ju purchased the store five years ago, it played a large part in his decision to buy.

Ju said Canada Post wanted to expand the post office and told him his store was too small. So when his five-year contract ended and it came time to negotiate a new deal, Canada Post wasn’t interested.

Ju proposed moving the store to a larger location but was told that wasn’t allowed.

“When I went to renew the contract, I was told I have to pay $50,000 to renovate and buy a new computer for $5,000,” Ju said.

He agreed, he said, but Canada Post still sent a closure notice.

“After I got the closure notice, I couldn’t sleep for several nights,” Ju said. “People started coming to see me.”

Soon, a petition was circulating around the neighbourhood — reaching 4,500 signatures — asking for Canada Post to keep the outlet open.

Canada Post obliged.

MP Gerard Kennedy says the petition played a large part in the new contract that was offered.

“The people of the Junction deserve a pat on the back,” Kennedy said. “Mr. Ju is a hardworking member of the community and he worked well with the community and myself and Canada Post, and it worked out in everyone’s favour.”

Canada Post spokesperson Eugene Knapik says his company is happy with the resolution.

“As I understand it, we were looking at an upgrade in size or configuration,” Knapik said. “But with further talks, we were able to reach an agreement with the owner.”

Ju said he’s pleased with the outcome.

“I am very happy to get the contract,” he said. “I am celebrating with my neighbours. We are all very happy.”

Under the new contract, Ju will have to spend $55,000 on renovations and new technology.

Area resident and Taylor Shoes employee Doris Moxam says the decision will prove beneficial in the long run.

“It is very good for the Junction,” Moxam said. “We need these services to bring people in and keep the neighbourhood vibrant.”

About this article:

By: Mike Constable
Posted: Oct 28 2009 10:04 am
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto