Getting Mail to Your Newly Built Home

Apparently we’ve taken one for the team for this post. At least now, we can help you make sure your mail can reach you at your new home. If you’re one of those people who needs the punchline instantly here it is: to ensure your mail gets to your new home when you do, contact Canada Post well in advance to register a new address. For those of you who like a little story … please read on! 

Trying to Set Up Mail Forwarding

A couple of weeks ago, as we were preparing to move out of our home in Owen Sound, I decided I should probably set up mail forwarding to the new address. Well … I’ve caused myself a little bit of an adventure. 

Did you know that you have to register a new address with Canada Post? 

Yes, you do! This is one little detail that no one tells you about that can have a big impact on your move. In fact, if this little step isn’t complete, you can’t change your address online with most government or banking institutions – never mind getting your mail forwarded. That’s a really big deal right?! 

Let me back up a wee bit so you can see how funny/peculiar this whole mess is. 

Installing Our Rural Mailbox

Back in July, I had a question for Brian pop into my head: “Should we install the post for the mailbox early, before the ground freezes, so it will be ready for our move in the middle of winter?” Of course that was a great idea and he set to designing our mailbox post right away. By the beginning of August we had a beautiful rural post box installed. We didn’t leave the box on it at the time because we didn’t want to confuse anyone or get junk mail piling up.

Rural Mailbox Version 1

After seeing the picture on the Facebook page, My Brother-in-Law thought that the box would be too close to the road and feared that the first snow plow would knock it down in a flash. So, even though we were certain it met all of Canada Post’s Rural Mailbox Guidelines, we adjusted the design slightly to move the box back without having to move the actual post.

Rural Mailbox Version 2

Side note … Moving the post would have been impossible because we used Sika Post Fix to set it into the shoulder of the road. That post is NOT going to move … it might break off if a plow hits it but it won’t be pulled out. I’d use Sika Post Fix again for any posts for its clean application and ease of use. No more 25lb bags of cement mix for a post!!!!

You Can’t Just Forward Your Mail! 

As it turns out, we sold our house early and will need to start our mail service at the new place early. More on that later but WHEW! It’s a good thing that the mailbox is ready! 

Our move out date was quickly approaching and we were going through our tasks of packing, moving boxes to storage, and lining up accommodations for the next 4 months when I remembered – 2 weeks before our closing date – to process our mail forwarding. I wasn’t worried at all, that’s typically plenty of time. I actually felt like I was ahead for a change! I’m a classic procrastinator … or maybe I just can’t process clocks and calendars like most people, so it was a pretty proud moment when I actually logged into the Canada Post website to get this task done early. 

But … not so fast there Cottage Wife … Canada Post has a little twist for you! When entering the new address (on page 3 of ??? pages worth of online forms), Canada Post couldn’t find it.


You Have to Register a New Home Address with Canada Post

The next morning I called the local post office to find out what I was doing wrong. It turns out that you have to register the address of a new build in order for Canada Post to know it exists. But not to worry, the gentleman was very helpful and put in the request for me. I was assured that I should be able to do my mail forwarding within the week. 

Alright, I thought, I’ll hold tight for a few days and try again early next week. 

Did I really wait that long? Of course not! I’m impatient and constantly surprised by technology; I tried on Thursday. 

I tried on Friday …. Nothing there.

I tried on Monday …. Address not found.

I tried on Tuesday …. Nada. So, I tried Canada Post Support chat online. I didn’t make any progress with them either! I gave up and accepted the fact that I’ll have to wait a little longer. But even though I’d given up on the process, I received an email confirmation that a ticket had been raised and someone would be in touch with me by Nov. 22. Ummmm that’s 5 days AFTER we’ve moved out of the house … 5 days AFTER we need mail forwarding. HELP!!! I decided to bide my time and let the system do its work. 

I can’t just sit here and do nothing!!!

I made another call to my local post office. He’d done all he can do to register the address, in fact they’ve already sent mail out to our mailbox! But he gave me the customer service number to see if they could force anything through so we can get mail forwarding. 

I finally managed to speak with a Supervisor who advised me that the registration of new address can take up to 3 months to populate through the system so that forwarding and other people (like banks and government agencies) can find the address. In the meantime, while he’d try his best to expedite the process, our best choices would be:  rent a PO box or forward the address to a friend or family member.   

We’re still working all of this out for ourselves but I wanted to get this post out to you. The punchline again is:  

You must register a new address with Canada Post before you can activate mail forwarding or do most address changes with banks or government offices. Start the process as early as you can even if you won’t be receiving mail right away.


Almost exactly 4 weeks from the start of this process, we have an official address with Canada Post! I suppose the moral of the story is, get “Address Registration with Canada Post” on your new build To-Do list early.

Send me a message!

The Cottage Wife

In addition to hiking, biking, reading and writing, I like to focus on making as light an impact on the land possible, while still living a modern life.

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