Contents 1506-1759 1760-1840 1841-1867 1868-1899 1900-1919 1920-1950 1951 to the Present A Chronology of Canadian Postal History
1900-1919 - The Post at the Beginning of Canada's Century

1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1910 1911 1913 1914 1915 1918 1919

  In June, booklets of 12 two-cent postage stamps are introduced for convenient carrying. They are priced at twenty-five cents; the extra cent is to cover the cost of binding.

  A Canadian contingent of five postal staff is sent to South Africa to assist the British Postal Corps during the Boer War.

  The first real advertising slogan is used in cancelling machines to advertise "Canada’s Exposition, Toronto, August 26 to September 7."

image Initial meetings leading to the formation of the Canadian Postmasters Association begin in 1902. The man who was eventually to be very involved in the association— Henri Roy—is born in this year.

  The Post Office department authorizes the transmission of picture postcards within Canada.

  On 3 February, a "postage-paid-in-cash" arrangement for circulars and catalogues is introduced.

  Beginning 28 March, registered letters are insured against loss of money or valuables up to $25.

  The Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan are created, effective 1 September 1905.

  An inland parcel post system is inaugurated in Newfoundland.

  On 1 July, an accounting system for short-paid postage, collected by Postmasters by means of special stamps known as "postage due" stamps, is adopted.

  Pre-cancelled postage stamps are authorized for postage on third class mail matter.

The position of Assistant Deputy Postmaster General is created. The first Assistant Deputy Postmaster General is E. H. Laschinger.

  Beginning January 1, stamp depots are established at Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver for the more convenient supply of stamps to western post offices.

  Sub post offices are established and authorized to sell postage stamps at a commission of one per cent of stamp purchases.

  "Special delivery" service is established in 15 August.

On 1 October, as authorized by the Universal Postal Union Congress of 1906, "international reply coupons" are introduced to prepay reply letters from correspondents in foreign countries.

image The Universal Postal Union standardizes the cost of sending a letter between different countries: 25 centimes for the first 25 grams (five cents for the first ounce). Previously, the lowest postal rate was applied to the first half ounce. Henceforth, it is easier for immigrants using the Canadian postal service to correspond with friends and family in the home country or elsewhere around the world.

image In October, rural delivery mail service is introduced between Ancaster and Hamilton, Ontario, for the first time in Canada.

image The Post Office department allows use of perforated postal stamps with distinctive marks.

image The Canadian Postal Corps is organized within the Canadian Militia.

image The first Postal Clerks Association is formed. In 1928, it merges with the Mail Porters Association to form the United Postal Employees of Canada (UPEC). In 1931, UPEC changes its name to the Canadian Postal Employees Association, which in 1965, becomes the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, or CUPW, as it is known today.
  The first coils—rolls of 500 one- and two-cent stamps—are made available to the public.

Parcel post service, providing for the transmission within Canada of parcels up to five kg (11 pounds) in weight, is inaugurated on 10 February.

image On 29 May, the Canadian Pacific Railway’s passenger steamship, Empress of Ireland, collides with the Norwegian collier, Storstad, in the St. Lawrence River about 11 km (seven miles) northeast of Pointe-au-Père, Quebec. Over 1000 people lose their lives and four railway wagonloads of mail sacks go down with the ship. Many pieces are recovered later.

image The Post Office of Val Morin Station opens in a house built by Fidèle Ouellette. Thus begins the story of an interesting object in the Canadian Postal Museum’s collection, the Val Morin Station cash register.

  The position of a Chief Mail Censor is created. Canada is at war.

  Under the Special War Revenue Act, a war tax is imposed on mail matter. A one-cent tax is levied on letters and postcards mailed in Canada for delivery in Canada, the United States or Mexico, and on each letter mailed in Canada for delivery in the United Kingdom and British possessions, and wherever the two-cent rate applies.

  The first official airmail flight in Canada is flown by Captain Bryan Peck from Montréal to Leaside, Toronto, on 24 June. The mail consists of 124 special envelopes. A continuous airmail service does not become available until 1928.

  On 9 July, Katherine Stinson becomes the first woman to officially carry the mail by air on an Alberta flight between Calgary and Edmonton.

  Postal workers engage in their first strike over the alleged failure of the government of the day to honour promises of increased wages and certain bonuses voted by Parliament. Strike action lasts about a month and is primarily centered in the West, specifically in Winnipeg, with some support from postal workers in Toronto and Hamilton. In 1919, postal employees sympathetic to the Winnipeg strikers are dismissed; some of the dismissed Post Office employees are rehired in 1920.

  On 3 March, the first international airmail flight is undertaken between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington. Although it is not a regularly contracted flight, it is considered the first international airmail flight in North America.

  The first non-stop transatlantic airmail flight is accomplished by John Alcock and Arthur Whitten-Brown on 14 June between St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Clifden, County Galway, Ireland. The flight is completed in 16 hours and 12 minutes.