Thursday, January 31, 2013

1987 Postpar Inc. Private Mail Service

Private mail service in Montreal and Quebec dates back to the 1840s. This post deals with the Postpar Inc. letter service which operated in the greater Montreal area from 1987 to 1988.

The Postpar letter service was introduced in September 1987,  a year in which labour disputes between postal workers and the Government resulted in two major disruptions of mail service. In June and July, members of the Letter Carriers' Union staged a 19-day strike. In the fall. the Canadian Union of Postal Workers organized rotating strikes from region to region, but the Montreal workers staged a general walkout.

Area Serviced

Postpar serviced the business community delivering letters to other businesses and to residential addresses. offering a letter service within the area encompassed by the following postal codes:
  •  all of  "H"
  • J3Y and J3Z
  • all of J4
  • J5R
The above postal codes represented the Urban Municipality of Montreal (as it was then known), some municipalities on the south shore of the St. Lawrence facing Montreal, and the city of Laval, north of Montreal.


Postpar letter rates were cheaper than those charged by Canada Post.

Maximum Dimensions for letters



In October, 1987, Postpar issued three postage stamps, 30c, 50c, and $1.00

 Laval to Hydro-Quebec, Montreal, June 11, 1988

April 18, 1988

Returned Mail

Thousands of Postpar letters delivered to the wrong addresses were dropped in Canada Post mail boxes for return by persons believing that the letters had been delivered by Canada Post. Canada Post was required by regulation to return these letters. By April, 1988, Canada Post had to handle 27,000 pieces of returned Postpar letters without postage, an effort which required the full-time service of two persons.

Canada Post advised Postpar that it should provide guaranteed return delivery, in response to which Postpar prepared markings providing telephone numbers to be called if the addressee had moved.

 Guaranteed Return Delivery 
If Moved Call 629-3656

Postpar Letter Redirected by Canada Post

 The addressee had moved and the Postpar letter below was put in the Canada Post mail stream.

 July 27, 1988

Canada Post did not simply return the letter to the sender but forwarded it to the addressee at his new address.

Canada Post Change of Address Label

 Canada Post enclosed the following letter in returned Postpar mail:

Dear Sir:

Recently the enclosed article was found in our mail stream. Because it did not bear Canada Post Corporation postage, our  regulations require us to return it to you,

Several thousand similar items have been found in our system during the last few weeks and we have been diligently returning them to sender.

Please be assured that it will be a pleasure to handle all of your mailings which carry the proper postage.

We look forward to serving you in the future.

Permanent Injunction

On September 8, 1988, Canada Post succeeded in obtaining a permanent injunction against the operations of Postpar Inc.  from violating the exclusive privilege conferred upon Canada Post Corporation of collecting, transmitting, and delivering letters within Canada.

 Postpar Inc. complied with the injunction, but in its brief history is believed to have delivered millions of letters in the Montreal area.