Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Living in a letterbox desert

I live in Markham, Ontario, Canada. The average rainfall is 718 mm, and average snowfall is 142 cm. And yet, I live in a desert. A letterbox desert.

Back when I first took up letterboxing, a search of within 30 km of Markham would have netted you two (2) letterboxes, In the Great Green Room and Roxbury Valentine Hearts. There are a few more just outside town, but you’re pretty much looking at a drive into downtown Toronto or else a drive right out of the GTA in order to find a couple boxes in one go.

To me, until I move, I will always be in a letterbox desert. To my knowledge, there are no other letterboxes here.

But I suspect everyone at some point comes to live an a desert. There may be boxes when you arrive, but over time, you have to travel further and further to get your letterboxing fix. I wonder at different areas of the US where it would appear to me as an outsider that the area is pretty self sustaining. Enough letterboxers – both of the planter type and finder type - that new boxes come up from a variety of planter on a fairly regular basis. Is that the case? Or, are there so many pre-planted boxes available when a new boxer enters the fray that there is never the need to travel. One wonders.

Inevitably though, I think we all end up in a desert once you find everything within a given radius of your home or work.  So nothing to complain about, really.  Nothing to see here, keep moving.


  1. Is Brian hiding a box?

    In general I have to agree with everything you've said. At some point, letterboxing turns into a day-trip kind of hobby. You have to savour each one you get.

    In our area, planting has come in waves. This summer has been a veritable bonanza in the KW area, and yet with all the heat I haven't had a good chance to go and get even half of the new ones yet.


    1. Yes, it's hidden in the gourd.

      What I like about your area in Guelph though is that there is a great mosaic of letterboxes that have been planted over time. As a newer letterboxer visiting Guelph, I really liked the historic aspect and perspective of those letterboxes - which is something that I'm going to guess that, of any where in Canada, only the areas around Guelph and Kingston can boast.

    2. I live in Kitchener but travel to Sarnia on a regular basis. There was ONE letterbox in Sarnia and it was nowhere to be found! I have started planting and have even connected with a craft store in Sarnia and talked up the hobby hoping they would pass it on to some of their customers.

    3. Keep it up! I'll be sure to visit them when I'm down that way :)