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Old 07-01-2013, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Jesusland
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How come Canadian postal (zip) codes are letters and numbers like in the UK, instead of 5 digit number like the southern neighbor?

I know phone numbers in the US and Canada are the same, and same address format, but postal code is different. I prefer the US zip code since it is easier to remember and write.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Because there can only be 10,000 ZIP codes and they're not very specific. A Canadian postal code is unique to each individual address, making it more precise.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
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You're off by a zero (and the PO added four more some years back, which we're supposed to use but only somewhat do), but Canada Day is not the time to nitpick the Canadians about USology. But I did not know that postal codes were unique to an address; I thought it was more like about a city block. I assume they aren't unique to an apartment number, say, but just to the street address at which it sits?
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:33 AM
 
Location: The South
380 posts, read 476,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Because there can only be 10,000 ZIP codes and they're not very specific. A Canadian postal code is unique to each individual address, making it more precise.
Postal codes 5 numbers and each digit has 10 choices including 0. Therefore, you have 100,000 different choices.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Because there can only be 10,000 ZIP codes and they're not very specific. A Canadian postal code is unique to each individual address, making it more precise.
Interesting. Not sure what an 'individual address' is in the city because I never thought about it before, but in the rural parts, the postal code is individual to the post office. We pick up our mail in town, at a post office.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: CFL
903 posts, read 2,240,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Interesting. Not sure what an 'individual address' is in the city because I never thought about it before, but in the rural parts, the postal code is individual to the post office. We pick up our mail in town, at a post office.
You can both be right..

From Postal codes in Canada - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The last three characters denote a local delivery unit (LDU).[1] An LDU denotes a specific single address or range of addresses, which can correspond to an entire small town, a significant part of a medium-sized town, a single side of a city block in larger cities, a single large building or a portion of a very large one, a single (large) institution such as a university or a hospital, or a business that receives large volumes of mail on a regular basis. LDUs ending in zero correspond to postal facilities, from post offices and small franchised retail postal outlets all the way up to sortation plants. In urban areas, LDUs may be specific postal carriers' routes. In rural areas where direct door-to-door delivery is not available, an LDU can describe a set of post office boxes or a rural route. LDU 9Z9 is used exclusively for Business Reply Mail. In rural FSAs, the first two characters are usually assigned in alphanumerical order by the name of each community.

LDU 9Z0 refers to large regional distribution centre facilities, and is also used as a placeholder, appearing in some regional postmarks such as the "K0H 9Z0" on purely local mail within the Kingston, Ontario area.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Vancouver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Interesting. Not sure what an 'individual address' is in the city because I never thought about it before, but in the rural parts, the postal code is individual to the post office. We pick up our mail in town, at a post office.
5.1
The Structure of the Postal Code
The Postal Code is a six-character uniformly structured, alphanumeric code in the form “ANA NAN” where “A” represents an alphabetic character and “N” represents a numeric character. A Postal Code is made up of two segments: “forward sortation area” and “local delivery unit.”

The forward sortation area is a combination of three characters (alpha-numeric-alpha). It identifies a major geographic area in an urban or a rural location.

The local delivery unit is a combination of three characters (numeric-alpha-numeric). It identifies the smallest delivery unit within a forward sortation area.

Figure 13: Postal Code Structure
5.2
Forward Sortation Area – The First Segment of the Postal Code
The “forward sortation area” or “FSA” represents a specific area within a major geographic region or province. The forward sortation area provides the basis for the primary sorting of forward mail.

The first character of the forward sortation area segment identifies one of the 18 major geographic areas, provinces or districts (as shown in Figure 14).

Figure 14: First Segment of the Postal Code
The second character of the forward sortation area is an important component of mail preparation as it identifies either:

an urban Postal Code: numerals 1 to 9 (ex. M2T)
a rural Postal Code: numeral 0 (zero) (ex. A0A).
The third character of the forward sortation area segment (E2J) in conjunction with the first two characters, describes an exact area of a city or town or other geographic area.

Figure 15: Example FSA
5.3
Local Delivery Unit – The Second Segment of the Postal Code
The “local delivery unit” or “LDU”, identified by the last three characters of the Postal Code, allows for a more final sort within a forward sortation area.

In urban areas, the last three digits may indicate a specific city block (one side of a street between two intersecting streets), a single building or, in some cases, a large-volume mail receiver.

In rural areas, the last three digits, together with the forward sortation area, identify a specific rural community.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Vancouver
12,670 posts, read 8,740,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumsen View Post
How come Canadian postal (zip) codes are letters and numbers like in the UK, instead of 5 digit number like the southern neighbor?

I know phone numbers in the US and Canada are the same, and same address format, but postal code is different. I prefer the US zip code since it is easier to remember and write.
I'm not sure about easy to remember...you guys do have zip code plus 4 more digits in some areas.
It all depends on what you are used to.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:40 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,157,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumsen View Post
How come Canadian postal (zip) codes are letters and numbers like in the UK, instead of 5 digit number like the southern neighbor?

I know phone numbers in the US and Canada are the same, and same address format, but postal code is different. I prefer the US zip code since it is easier to remember and write.
I find Canadian/British postal codes easy to remember and write as well. I remember my OH's British postal code, easy stuff. Not everything has to be like the US, sheesh
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
353 posts, read 803,361 times
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One could pose the opposite question, why are US zip codes not 6 character numbers and letters like in Canada?
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