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On Cloud Nine: Point Edward home was first in Canada to get single-digit address

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Cathy Dobson

Janice and George Robson have seen plenty of letter carriers miss their house and pizza guys look confused.

That’s because the last block of houses on the east side of Albert Street in Point Edward is out of sequence.

Number 13 is next door to number 15, as it should be. But the next house, the Robsons’ is number 9.

So what’s up with that?

Janice Robson, a long-time village councillor, says their house was the first in Canada to be given a single digit address by Canada Post. They live at number 9 Albert St. and wouldn’t have it any other way, despite the confusion.

It was 1975 when the couple bought the lot on the corner of Ernest and Albert streets.

“It had been Mabel Coote’s candy store when I was a kid,” said Janice. “It had sat empty for a few years after she died and her nephew sold it to us.”

The house faced south and its address was 404 Ernest.

The Robsons demolished the old house and made plans to build her five-level dream house.  When the foundation was poured, the front no longer faced Ernest.

“We wanted a bigger backyard, so we had it face Albert,” said Janice. “I went to the village office and told them I needed a new house number.  They said we would be 15 1/2. I said no, that sounds like we live in an apartment, but they wouldn’t change their minds.

“They told me to take it up with Canada Post.”

So she did.

“Canada Post told me we’d have to be number 9, which was fine with me even though I pointed out the sequence on the street would be 13, 15, 9, then 17.

“They told me there were no single digit houses in Canada and we would be the first.

“I don’t know why.”

Thirty-seven years after moving into 9 Albert, the Robsons have had to explain many times exactly where their home is.

“And the neighbour at 19 Albert gets a lot of our stuff because people think we just forgot the 1.”

Even Canada Post, where the address originated, will mix up the Robson’s mail if there’s a new carrier on the job.

“But I wouldn’t have done it any differently,” said Janice.  “The single digit made us unique.  I didn’t want to be 15 ½, so I never regretted our decision.”

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