Since I was eligible, I filled out the simplified renewal form (found here). All that was needed with that, besides the form, was the fee (of C$97), my passport, and two passport photos.
I managed to fill out the application, but was held up on the section about references as I didn't know the addresses and phone numbers off hand with the two people I was planning on using. After sending them a message via Facebook, they both responded quickly enough and I had the form finished the next day.
The only thing holding me up at that point was the passport photos as they needed to be taken by a commercial photographer. I was at first planning on taking the photos myself, like I had with the NVC, medical, and interview photos, but alas, it's not allowed! So, at first, I thought the only place I could get photos done here in town was the post office. Then I found online that Walgreens does passport photos, along with the portrait studio in Walmart. Before going anywhere though, I wanted to make sure these places did CANADIAN sizes, as I didn't want US sizes. So, first I called up Walgreens and the representative said they did and they cost $10.99 for a set. I tried calling Walmart, but they didn't pick up their phone whenever I called for two days. But I finally got a hold of them and they do Canadian sizes as well, but cheaper, at $9.99 a set. Finally, I called the post office. Let me tell you, the guy who picked up had no clue (for whatever reason) what I was asking when I asked if they did Canadian sizes for passport photos. I'm like alrighty then, lol. So, I decided to go with Walmart as they were cheaper. They might have been my only option as I have a friend who works at a Walgreens in another state and she told me they only do US sizes, so I don't know if we just do things differently here or the lady on the phone was wrong.
Anyways, long story short, I tried getting my passport photos done at Walmart on Tuesday, but unfortunately, once I got there, I realised they were closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So, I went on my lunch break yesterday, Thursday. Let me tell you, I HATE getting passport photos done, just because you can't smile. In my last passport, I looked soooooo pissed off. This one wasn't so bad, but still. Enjoy:
(No, I don't wear my glasses that low, the photographer told me I had to do that XD)
So, now that I had the passport photos, I was ready to mail off my package! I headed to the post office as soon as I received the photos. I put the form at the back, the photos in a small Ziploc bag, with my passport in a bigger Ziploc bag, and paperclipped the entire thing together. After dishing out $30 for Express mailing with tracking, my package was off!
According to Passport Canada's site, mailed in applications take 20 business days to process, so I'll hopefully have my passport back next month. I'm having small anxiety issues not having my passport on hand, just in case something happens and I need to travel to Canada for an emergency. I'm sure everything will be fine though :)
I'll post an update once my package has arrived at the Passport Canada office, as well as when I have my new passport on hand. Wish me a swift process!