It’s the end of an era in Abbotsford.
With the removal of a pay phone from outside the Clearbrook Library, there are now only two pay phones remaining in the entire city of Abbotsford – both can be found in the Abbotsford International Airport terminal.
One is located directly beside the gift shop and the other can be found in the vestibule near the public bathrooms.
Telus stated in a communication to outgoing Abbotsford mayor Henry Braun that the phone at the library was being removed due to a decline in usage.
Pay phones were also recently removed from the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre and the University of the Fraser Valley. However, complimentary phones are available at both of those locations for people without a cellphone.
The lack of pay phones is a stark change from 10 years ago. According to the website payphone-directory.org, there were 23 recorded pay phones in Abbotsford at locations such as Save-on-Foods, Mac’s, Zellers, Costco and several local gas stations. All of those phones have been removed in the past decade.
One interesting fact on the notice that Telus posted on the library phone is that the next closest pay phone is found at the Provincial Law Courts Building at 222 Main St. in Vancouver or the Woodbine Motel at 786 Hastings St. in Vancouver.
Vancouver resident Stanley Woodvine created a map of pay phones in Vancouver and its surrounding areas back in 2019.
Finally creating map of #Vancouver's remaining #payphones. Only have 4 locations at present, w/ only 1 I personally know still works. Happy to receive details (exact corners, or addresses, or GPS) & photos (if possible) of working indoor/outdoor payphones. https://t.co/akmwXBWU3i— Stanley Q Woodvine (@sqwabb) July 7, 2019
However, it appears that the map has not been updated since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic saw the removal of many phones throughout the Lower Mainland and it’s likely that many of those listed on the map are no longer in use.
Woodvine’s map does state that there is a pay phone located in Harrison Hot Springs, but it’s not known if that phone is still in use.
Abbotsford city leaders did have the ability to request a Telus pay phone remain in the community, but they decided against making that request. It’s believed that the pay phones at YXX will be removed in the coming months, meaning Abbotsford will have zero public pay phones in the city.