Customer Service Boxes

The customer service box program allows for publication distribution boxes or courier drop boxes to be placed in the ROW. An initial review and approval in accordance with the provisions of the Encroachments on City Highways By-law (2003-446) is required, after which permits may be issued.

Before you begin

Customer service box permits are issued on an annual basis starting from July 1 to June 30 of the following year in which they then can be renewed.

What you need


  1. The CSB permit holder shall ensure that a validation sticker is affixed on the upper right-hand corner of the doorframe of each publication distribution box.
  2. The CSB permit holder shall at all times keep the customer service box in a clean and sanitary condition and free of posters, signs, and graffiti.
  3. Every CSB shall be self-supporting and SHALL NOT BE:
    1. attached to any City works including, but not limited to, a traffic control device, traffic signal pole, street name sign pole, or any other post or pole or other equipment erected and maintained by the City or public utility company or both;
    2. placed so as to create a visibility obstruction for a vehicle or pedestrian;
    3. placed so as to obstruct or interfere with passenger ingress to or egress from a bus at an authorized public bus stop area;
    4. placed so as to create a safety hazard or physical obstruction for a vehicle or pedestrian;
    5. placed so as to interfere in any way with the work of cleaning a highway or clearing or removing snow or ice from a highway or a highway maintenance operation;
    6. placed within ten metres (10m) of an intersection as measured from the edge of the curb or curb extension; or
    7. placed on a traffic narrowing structure.
  4. A customer service box on an outer boulevard shall be removed between November and April.
    1. The customer service box vendor will be responsible for removing the customer service box between November and April

Cost and Timeline

Permit Fees

  • $111.00 per customer service box

Approximate Timeline

  • 5-10 business days


Approval Process

  • Customer Service Box Application along with list of customer service box locations submitted
  • Insurance ($2,000,000.00 liability with the City of Ottawa listed as an additional insured) submitted

What happens next

Special requirements or instructions

  1. In accordance with Section 58(1) of the City of Ottawa Encroachment By-law 2003-446, the City reserves the right to request removal of a customer service box within 48 hours notification to the owner. Should the customer service box not be removed within this time, the City may remove the customer service box at the owner's expense. Additionally, should the owner wish to relocate a customer service box, a minimum of 48 hours notification must be provided to ROW, by calling 613-580-2424 ext 16000.
  2. Insurance must be valid at all times or this permit becomes void.

Statement of indemnification

  1. This permit is issued subject to the condition that the applicant shall indemnify and save harmless, the City of Ottawa, their officers, agents, servants, and workers from and against all damages, costs, and expenses which they may incur or pay or be rendered liable for by reason of any accident or other damages sustained by any person or property as a result of the construction, alteration or continuance of, or failure to maintain, the encroachment.
  2. By signing this document on behalf of my organization/company, I hereby certify that I have read this permit in its entirety, including all Special Requirements or instructions, and the Statement of Indemnification contained in (1) above, and that I understand their terms and agree to abide by them. That which was not understood was clarified by staff of this Department.


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