By Matthew Coutts | Daily Brew
– 2 hours 11 minutes ago

Canada Post vehicles sit outside a sorting depot in the Ville St-Laurent borough of Montreal, on June 6, 2011. …

Canada Post has announced that it will phase out door-to-door mail delivery in urban areas, a massive shift in the business strategy of the struggling Crown corporation that will fundamentally change the reason for its existence.

The evolving delivery strategy is part of a five-point plan announced on Wednesday to overhaul the system starting next year. Other changes include boosting the price of stamps and cutting as many as 8,000 jobs.

"The postal system as we know it today evolved over decades as a convenient and low-cost way to communicate, receive and pay household bills," says a video released to explain the change.

"The rise in digital communications has provided a faster and cheaper way for Canadians to do many things online that they used to do by mail.”

Last year, Canada Post delivered one-billion fewer pieces of mail than it did in 2006. The Conference Board of Canada has said Canada Post would lose $1 billion a year by 2020 if it did not make fundamental changes to the way it did business. Consider this that fundamental change.

The new delivery process, which will see Canada Post deliver mail to downtown community mailboxes (similar to the process already in place in rural areas), will affect the way one-third of Canadian households receive their mail. The change will be made over the next five years.

The cost of sending letters and packages will also increase. The price of stamps will jump from $0.63 to between $0.85 and $1. The service will also cut between 6,000 and 8,000 positions, although it says those positions will come off the books without layoffs, with 15,000 employees set to retire in the near future.

The change will cut back on the number of negative interactions between mail carriers and the public, such as the clichéd-but-frequent clashes with dogs or this Manitoba standoff involving steep steps.

Then again, that can’t really be considered a positive change when you consider that it comes by phasing out public interaction entirely.