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Alternatives To Zip.ca

Now that Zip.ca has closed its doors I’m sure some of you are looking for alternatives, so I thought I’d provide a few.

Unfortunately there are few alternatives when it comes to rentals by mail now that zip.ca is gone.

It appears that only DVD Link is offering a mail rental service at the moment. But their rates are pretty good at $9.95 to $54.99, depending on how many DVDs or Blu-Rays you want to rent per month. And unlike zip.ca, this Vancouver based company rents games and don’t charge more for Blu-Ray rentals.

People who like renting from kiosks will of course fare better because Redbox  just recently expanded into the Atlantic Provinces and Western Canada.

Redbox kiosks have pretty much invaded my city (Ottawa), and can be found at most Sobeys, Loblaws/Real Canadian Superstore, Walmart and Giant Tiger stores.

They’ve placed kiosks at quite a few of those stores through-out Canada, both indoors and outdoors. And I like them because you don’t need to return your discs at the specific Redbox kiosk they were rented from.

I believe they’ve replaced most of the Bestbuy Movie Kiosk locations at the 7-Eleven, Mac’s, Safeway, Real Canadian Superstore and Walmart stores in western Canada. And possibly the Moviemagic kiosks in Ontario as well.

In the Montreal area they have opened locations at IGA stores. But until they expand further the best solution for rentals in the province of Quebec are the Superclub Videotron stores.

Independent stores can still be found in the largest cities, through-out Canada. But the largest video rental store chain in Canada is now Jumbo Video/Superclub Videotron, which operate stores in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.

Quebecor Media owns both of these chains along with Microplay, a chain that rents videogames from some of the Jumbo Video/Superclub Videotron locations. But whether these chains will fold like Rogers Video and Blockbuster Video is unknown.

High speed internet remains prohibitively expensive in many areas, especially in rural communities, so renting individual films from iTunes, Netlix, Cineplex or Cinemanow may still not be a viable option for some.

Another option is to bite the bullet and rent films via the on demand and pay per view services offered by the cable and satellite companies. But at $5.99 to $7.99 per film this can get quite expensive.

They do occasionally offer some discounts on The Movie Network/TMN Encore and Super Ecran but the delays on new films remain on those channels and I’ve found that the Hollywood Suite package is much better if you’re mostly interested in classic films. The later is much more affordable at the moment.

Those are pretty much my suggestions on this matter. I will of course post updates, if some occur. I hope that you found this information useful.

UPDATE : Redbox left the Canadian market in Early 2015, significantly reducing our options. Some public libraries have limited selections of rentals offline but it appears that online film rentals have killed off the physical rental market in Canada. Click here for my first impressions on the Shomi service.

Zip.ca Closes

Video rental service Zip.ca has closed after ten years of operation.

Members have until August 31st to return their discs to avoid a $25 fee per disc.

Click here for additional information.

Petition For Door To Door Delivery

A petition for Canada Post to keep door to door deliveries has been created on change.org and currently has over 120,000 signatures.

Click here for additional information on this petition.

Canada Post To Phase Out Door-To-Door Deliveries

Canada Post has unveiled a five-point action plan and unfortunately this means people will loose their door-to-door deliveries, which will be phased out over five years.

Parcels and letters requiring signatures will continue to be delivered door-to-door and more franchised postal outlets are planned. But an estimated 5 million Canadians will loose their regular weekday door-to-door postal deliveries and will receive their mail from community mailboxes instead.

The Future of Canada Post

Having incurred a loss of 100 million in the previous three months, Canada Post is thinking about introducing community boxes to more neighbourhoods where door to door home deliveries are the norm.

Though mostly attributed to equipment upgrades, this loss has resulted in a public consultation in regards to what measures can be taken to address the reduction of letter mail, which was once the corporation`s bread and butter before the internet.

E-mails and paperless billing have pretty much eliminated the need for  weekday letter deliveries for most people in the larger cities of Canada. But there remains a need for parcel deliveries, especially during the Christmas season.

Personally I’ve had very few problems with my community mailbox, other than the rare lock freezing in January and February. But I can see why some people would like to keep their home delivery.

The handicapped and seniors probably prefer to have their mail delivered so they don’t need to go out in bad weather and risk heat stroke, frostbites and injuries related to falls or smog.

I’m guessing these people will probably be eligible for a compassionate exemption programme and will keep getting their mail delivered at their door. But I think community mailboxes should work for most.

In regards to a reduction in letter mail deliveries, Canada Post had stated last February to the Canadian Press that it would continue deliveries weekdays, regardless of the rumours in the press that these would be reduced from five to three deliveries a week.

Whether they choose to reduce their letter deliveries or not  it makes sense for them to keep delivering mail to community mailboxes that receive parcels, so I’m guessing that deliveries at urban and sub-urban community mailboxes will remain unchanged for a while.

If there are any changes or news related to these deliveries I will an update on this blog.

Postal Services To Resume Tuesday

Canada Post has stated in an email to customers that postal services will be restored Tuesday, the 28th of June, including mail delivery.

“Canada Post has initiated the process to resume operations following the passage of back to work legislation (Bill C-6, An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of postal services). In accordance with the Act, employees will begin to report to work for their regularly scheduled shifts on Monday June 27 and on Tuesday June 28.”

All of the mailboxes will be unsealed on Monday but local post offices will open on Tuesday.