Ottawa adding five new passport offices – including Whitby – to meet demand


Published July 25, 2022 at 4:35 pm

Photo Kylie Anderson

Logjams at passport offices around the country has prompted Ottawa to add five new locations where you can pick up passports.

The new locations are Whitby and Brampton in Ontario, as well as Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Calgary, Alberta and Richmond, B.C.

The Whitby site at the Whitby Mall had been a passport site for many years before recent changes meant Durham residents had visit the Scarborough passport office to get their passports.

A press release from the federal government said Service Canada staff are “working hard” to provide passports to Canadians as quickly as possible. “At the same time, staff are doing everything they can to give Canadians a better service experience as they go through the passport process.”

Now, the statement added, nearly all specialized passport offices across the country offer pick-up service. In addition to the existing pick-up service at 29 other passport offices, Canadians can request in-person pick-up at any of the new sites. This expansion will allow many Canadians who need to pick up passports in person to do so closer to their homes, rather than travel to another office in their area.  Opening these new pick-up locations will also help reduce lineups at other offices in bigger cities.

“As we work to reduce the backlog and bring service standards back to normal, we will take every measure we can to make the experience better for Canadians and make our services more accessible.”

“I will continue to ensure that Service Canada is constantly exploring and implementing solutions to improve service, including new technology to keep Canadians better informed of the status of their applications. I look forward to sharing more details about these improvements very soon.

“We are tackling this challenge through hard work, innovation and dedication, and I am confident we will continue to make meaningful progress.”

The only location in Canada that does not offer pickup service is Hamilton East, but pick-up services are available at the Hamilton Mountain office.

For the week of July 11 to 17, Service Canada issued 48,481 passports, with the average call centre wait time of 56 minutes.

Since April 1, 2022, Service Canada has issued 605,440 passports.

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