Canadian bees – addressing envelopes

posted 1 year ago in Etiquette
Member
9241 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I wrote out full province names (BC, AB and MB for reference), and did the whole addresses in cursive, and they all arrived with no issues.  Postal code on the same row as the province though.

Member
971 posts
Busy bee

I wrote out in full City, Province on one line and postal code on the line below. I had no problems. They might just recommend that is the easiest way but they won’t NOT deliver the mail because of your formatting so I say do what you want!

Member
566 posts
Busy bee

I haven’t done my invites yet… but when I send letters I ALWAYS write the postal code below the city and often write out out the province! I think as long as the information is there, and legible, there is no concern. 

Member
1350 posts
Bumble bee

In general, the outer envelope should be considered a business document between you and your service provider Canada Post. Social etiquette does not therefore apply to it, and you should do the addressing in a businesslike manner. That being said, my understanding is that the guidelines provided to “optimize delivery” allow the automatic sorting equipment to read typed and computer-generated labels (and some block-letter hand printing). Addresses in script are going to require human intervention anyway.

And I despise the innovation of using American-style two-letter abbreviations for province names. So, since I generally address envelopes in cursive script, I write out the provincial name in full. But I make an exception for their sorting equipment with respect to the postal code. Their automatic sorting equipment has been able to read block-printed postal codes for decades, and as the daughter of an engineer I have a pretty good draughtsman’s hand: so I block print the postal code to the right edge of the addressing block but on its own line — which is the last place they instructed us to put the address in one of their little mail-out instruction brochures. I hadn’t seen the change to putting it on its own line until I checked their website just now. They also used to insist that there be nothing written lower than the postal code, so I wouldn’t put in the little flourish at the end.

The one etiquette related point to sending invitations in Canada is that, unlike in the United States, the outer envelope should be addressed to the ONE person (usually the lady of the house — with her title, first name and surname of course) who keeps the social calendar for the household; with the names of all the guests appearing on the inner envelope only.

Member
1243 posts
Bumble bee

In the invitations I send out for work, I always type out the province name:

Jane Smith

123 Maple Street

Forest City, British Columbia

A1B 2C3

 

I am not sure why you want to space out the postal code.  I wouldn’t do that. The only space should be between the first 3 characters and the last 3 characters.  It may look better to you (but not to my Canadian eye, accustomed to our postal code format) however arguably postal code is one of the most important pieces of information for the postal system to use with processing (i.e. I have had mail with otherwise erroneous information delivered to the intended address because the postal code was correct) so I would keep it in the format which is standard in your destination country.

Member
2474 posts
Buzzing bee

Since previous posts have answered the postal code question, I though I could give you a tip for the written part! Unless you’re good at calligraphy, print the addresses in the font you like and trace it on the envelope using carbon paper, then fill it in with a calligraphy pen!

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