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Meaning of Canadian Postal Code Characters

Canadian postal codes are alphanumeric and composed of six characters. Canadian postal codes have the following format:

X1X 1X1

where X is a letter and 1 is a digit, a space separating the third and fourth characters. These six characters of Canadian postal codes represent a postal address in Canada.

The first three characters of Canadian postal codes form a forward sortation area (FSA). A forward sortation area is a geographical region.

  • The first letter of an FSA stands for a postal district that specifies a particular territory or province.
  • The second digit of an FSA shows if the FSA is rural or urban (0 is a rural region; any other digit is an urban region).
  • The third letter of an FSA indicates a rural region / city / section of a metropolitan area.

The three characters of Canadian postal codes followed by the space represent a Local Delivery Unit (LDU). A Local Delivery Unit stands for an address or several addresses corresponded to a small town, a large building, a university, a business, a hospital and etc. that receives high volumes of mail regularly.

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