Use it or lose it – Okanagan community losing last pay phone | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Use it or lose it – Okanagan community losing last pay phone

This Telus pay phone at the 7-Eleven in Lake Country is the last of its kind in the Okanagan community and will be removed by the end of April.

The last remaining Telus pay phone at the 7-Eleven in Lake Country will be gone by the end of April.

And, despite the chagrin expressed by a couple dozen residents who mourned its loss on social media and suggested it was well used, clearly it was not.

“The payphone located at 9724 Highway 97 in Winfield has made $17 in the last two years, which represents 35 phone calls since January 2020,” states an emailed statement from Telus communications specialist Lena Chen.

Chen notes that the Telus wireless network reaches 99% of B.C. residents.

There are now 2,250 pay phones operated by Telus in B.C. and Alberta (other companies do provide pay phone service).

An iNFOnews.ca story written in 2014 about the declining number of pay phones reported that Telus had a total of 13,000 in the two provinces at that time.

READ MORE: The last time you looked for a pay phone, you probably couldn't find one

This doesn’t necessarily mean that this particular phone will be lost to the community.

“In recognition of the nostalgia associated with pay phones for many generations, if a member of Lake Country’s community or a local organization would like to keep the decommissioned pay phone for display purposes, we would be happy to work with them to ensure that it stays within the community as an acknowledgement of a shared piece of technology history,” Chen said in the written statement.

Anyone interested in doing so can email Telus at telustickets@wimactel.com.

Telus is also giving something back.

“As part of our commitment to Lake Country, Telus is making a $1,000 donation to the Telus Friendly Future Foundation on behalf of the community,” Chen said.

She described the foundation as “an independent registered charity dedicated to funding health, education and technology focused charitable programs for youth across Canada.”

The District of Lake Country posted the news on its Facebook page on April 7, saying it will be removed on, or after, April 25.

It’s located at the 7-Eleven store on Highway 97.

A number of people commenting on the post said it was well used by temporary foreign workers and that it was important to keep it in case of an emergency.

But, given the volume of usage, that was not the case.

“Where will Superman get changed?” one writer moaned.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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