CANADIAN ATLAS OF FSA POSTAL AREAS since 1990
Postal Code Maps for Marketing
Since the introduction of the Canadian postal coding system in the early 70's Forward Sortation Areas (FSA) have been gaining popularity and importance in marketing departments. Experience has shown that postal codes are an excellent tool for targeting. Each FSA has distinct boundaries that allow you to define your market area very precisely. A wide range of business and consumer statistical data are available from many sources, including DATAMAP's STATISTICS SUPPLEMENT TO THE ATLAS, for identifying the characteristics of your target group within the FSA. The benefits of dealing with established, nationally recognized territorial units can hardly be overstated.
The Canadian Atlas of FSA Postal Areas provides you with maps showing every Forward Sortation Area in Canada. With two-colour rendition and sufficient geographic reference, the Atlas clearly depicts the quilt of FSAs from coast to coast. As the trend towards database target marketing and effective use of the post office gained momentum, the Atlas has become an essential tool for marketing departments and for an array of other users.
Since 1990, consecutive editions of the Atlas have introduced new and modified FSAs and Rural codes, cross-referenced Urban FSA Index by FSA and by city name, improved map grouping for several areas (e.g.: Victoria and Sydney, BC), corrections of errors and omissions etc.. To keep you informed about the constant urban and rural codes growth and changes, semi-annual UPDATE SHEETS are available from DATAMAP. To order your UPDATE SHEETS and STATISTICS SUPPLEMENT please call (416) 287-3240 Fax (416) 287-3476 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
GLOSSARY OF POSTAL TERMS
Forward Sortation Area (FSA)
An FSA is a geographical area represented by the first three alphanumeric characters of the postal code. For example in the postal code M4S 1G1, the FSA is represented by M4S). Rural Canada is presently divided into approximately 190 Rural FSAs and there are over 1300 Urban FSAs in the urban centres. The first character of the FSA indicates the province or major populated area to which the FSA is assigned. Postal codes beginning with "A" are in Newfoundland, "B" in Nova Scotia, "M" in Toronto, etc.. The second character of the FSA indicates whether the postal code is located in an urban or rural area. All postal codes with "0" (zero) in the second position belong to a Rural FSA.
The boundaries of a rural FSA are shaped by the geographic position of the scattered in it rural communities with identical first 3 characters of their postal codes. For example the boundary line between the Rural FSAs L0N and L0P lies between the L0N towns and the L0P towns. Rural FSAs are shown in the Rural Area Maps and in the Canada Reference Map. The last 3 characters of the postal code are unique to each of these single code localities within the Rural FSA, but always end with a "0" (zero), e.g. Rosemount, L0N 1R0. Recently, Service Codes which end with numbers other than "0" have been additionally assigned to some localities with rural FSA designations. The original valid postal code (ending with a "0") is always shown in the Rural Index.
Cities are divided into Urban Forward Sortation Areas (FSA). In Canadian postal code geography urban centres are like islands surrounded by Rural FSAs up to several hundred kilometers across. The outer limits of an Urban FSA are strictly defined by a physical boundary such as a street, transmission line, highway, railway tracks, ravine, creek, river etc.. Urban centres with two or more FSAs are featured in the Atlas with separate maps, and are indicated on the respective Rural Area Maps by a red dot. Localities which have been assigned only a single Urban FSA appear on the Rural Area Maps as three characters (FSA) followed by three asterisks (e.g.. Camrose, T4V***). In contrast the single code localities within the Rural FSA have simply been listed in the Rural Index accompanying each Rural Area Map.
Local Delivery Unit (LDU)
The LDU is represented by the last 3 characters of the urban postal codes. An LDU could be any of the following: a block face (one side of a city block between intersections); both sides of a street between intersections; apartment building with more than 50 units or a group of townhomes with common civic number addresses; business building with more than 10 businesses; large volume receiver (LVR) with more than 100 pieces of mail daily; rural route (RR); box range (a group of lock boxes in a post office); mobile route service in an urban delivery service. Hundreds of LDUs are usually served in an urban FSA. Once the count of LDUs reaches 2000 LDUs the FSA will usually be split in two. The LDU should not be confused with the postal walk assigned to letter carriers.
NOTES ON USING THE ATLAS
We hope that your Atlas of FSA Postal Areas will be a well-used reference tool. As mentioned earlier, the Canadian postal code data is constantly changing, and the information contained in this Atlas will have to be revised over time. The changes are most likely to affect rapidly growing communities, including Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Please contact us for obtaining update sheets.
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