With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, four Canadian post offices with romantic names are gearing up for increased business.
In the coming weeks, postmasters from the communities of Love in Saskatchewan, Saint-Valentin in Quebec City, Cupids, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Heart’s Content, also in NL, will “cancel” twice as much mail as usual.
In addition to Valentine’s Day, the post offices also get regular requests to put their special postmarks on wedding invitations.
The specially designed “love-inspired” cancels—a location-specific marking applied on a stamp to show that it has been used—are popular not only in Canada but around the world.
Love letters and cards from the United States, Russia, France, Germany, Australia, Israel, Spain, Brazil, the United Kingdom—and particularly Asian countries—are already arriving at the four locations, according to Joelle Hamilton at Canada Post.
“As Valentine’s Day draws near, we see an influx of mail from China and Japan,” says Hamilton. “We are happy that we get to make someone’s day truly special all the way in Asia.”
Those who want to obtain a cancel must put their Valentine’s card in an envelope with their loved one’s address and the appropriate postage, then put that card in a larger envelope and mail it to one of four post offices.
The cards are then stamped with the special marking before being sent on to their final destination.
“Whether you’re single, in a new relationship, or happily together for many years, sending a card from one of these aptly named towns is a unique, simple, and thoughtful way to say “I love you,” “I’m thinking of you,” or “You’re special to me,” says Hamilton.
The tradition has thrived for years in the towns, allowing the small communities to “make their mark” on the world. In addition to Valentine’s Day, the post offices also get regular requests to put their special postmarks on wedding invitations.
Home to about 100 people, Love, Sask., opened its post office in 1935 and in 1984 began making romantic cancels, the first post office in Canada to do so. Last year, Connie Black-Sturby, the Love postmistress, cancelled a total of 1,341 Valentine’s Day cards.
Saint-Valentin created its first cancel in 1994. Each year, the little post office that serves about 500 residents sees thousands of mail items coming through for local, provincial, national, and international destinations.
In Newfoundland, the Cupids and Heart’s Content post offices serve about 700-800 people daily. Every year thousands of people send letters to the small maritime towns to receive their Valentine’s cancel.
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