Thursday, 26 February 2009

Home delivery 3

John Downing, a Day Oner and former Toronto Sun editor, updates us on his Sun newspaper deliveries:

"The free newspaper story is fascinating. I always got a free Sun delivered to the door, but I always paid the wholesaler the street price of the newspaper. Some of my colleagues stiffed their wholesalers.

"In my area, you could get the daily Sun delivered to your door right from the start. My sons and Don Hunt's sons got a bundle from the wholesaler dropped off at the house. When the Hunts moved, my sons continued.

It caused problems when people phoned the Sun and said they were going for holidays and didn't want the paper for a couple of weeks. The Sun would say there was a mistake because there was no home delivery.

When my sons finally stopped, they were honoured at a wholesaler party and were given Donato prints.

My sons found the delivery business very lucrative. Their customers also got them to clean eavestroughs, cut grass etc. and my sons figured they were earning over $40 an hour tax free. One son continued after he was married and had two university degrees.

So there was some value when kids delivered newspapers and not adults, but of course government screwed it all up with regulations."

Thank you for your e-mail, John.

Tax free paper routes were a bonanza for thousands of yutes. At one point in the 1950s, this blogster's three Toronto Star paper routes paid more than my father was making as a house painter.

Plus tips - especially from those generous Spadina, Walmer and St. George apartment dwellers during Christmas Eve collections.

Paper routes got us through high school without having to ask for an allowance.

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