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International Context Winter Flights - Part II

The Ministry of Postal Services decided to create a winter postal service to allow remote communities to stay in touch with people living in the southern part of the country.

The aerial postal service was sometimes the only means of communication that existed for isolated areas.

Before airplanes took over, some regions, such as Anticosti Island and the Magdalen Islands, remained completely stranded all winter long. Only the occasional visit from an ice-breaker would interrupt the solitude.

From Leamington to Île Pelée, Ontario

During the winter, mail was transported to Île Pelée by special boats that were equipped with runners so that they could navigate on both water and ice. The pilot always had two or three people on board to assist him. Often they had to get off the boat to push it through ice-jams. It was an extremely dangerous way to get the mail across.

Although it was only a short distance, it usually took the pilot and his helpers half a day to complete it. Because of the number of problems it posed, mail delivery by boat was cancelled, and the Ministry granted a postal contract to London Air Transport Limited. This proved to be such an essential service that the company's Waco planes had to make four flight each week to deliver all the mail.



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The Beginnings
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Canadian Postal Museum