Contents 1506-1759 1760-1840 1841-1867 1868-1899 1900-1919 1920-1950 1951 to the Present A Chronology of Canadian Postal History
1920-1950 - The Making of the Modern Post Office

1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1938 1939 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950

The registration fee on letters and other matter mailed in Canada is fixed at 10 cents per letter, effective 15 July.

  Parcel post insurance is introduced.

  Canada approves the use of postage meters. The first machine is supplied by the Pitney Bowes Company.

image Cash on Delivery (COD) is inaugurated in October.

  The Post Office philatelic agency is established.

  The business reply postcard is authorized for use in Canada.

  The first use of a semi-official airmail stamp in Canada is made on 21 September for a flight between Haileybury, Ontario, and Rouyn, Quebec, the northern mining districts of both provinces.

  Mechanical sorting equipment is installed at Toronto and, by 1926, similar equipment is in use at all larger Canadian cities.

  The postal zoning system is introduced in Toronto.

  Bilingual postcards are released.

  Gummed cash register tapes are used to replace stamps on third-class and parcel post mailings for postage paid in cash.

  The use of the red Christmas postmark is first reported in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

image On 14 October 1926, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is hired by the Latécoère air line. He pilots his first mail transport flight between Toulouse, France, and Casablanca, Morocco.
  Experimental airmail trips between Montréal and Rimouski to establish the feasibility of air service herald the introduction of airmail service to Canada. On 1 October, the first official airmail service contract goes into effect. The first flight takes place on 4 October between Bissett, Wadhope and Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, a flying distance of 132 km (82 miles).

image On Christmas Day 1927, pilot Roméo Vachon makes the first airmail delivery to the North Shore of Quebec. Roméo Vachon is a pioneer of Canadian aviation not only as an airmail pilot, but also because of his exceptional skills as an aircraft mechanic and airline administrator.

image Canada Post celebrates the 60th anniversary of Confederation with a series of five stamps.

  Regulations are established to standardize mailboxes in apartment buildings.

  Canada’s first official airmail stamp, a five-cent brown, is issued on 21 September. The first flights using the new stamp are made the next day on the Toronto-Ottawa-Montréal-Rimouski service.

  Motorcycles are used experimentally to collect mail from street letter boxes. They are found to be particularly suitable for the crowded business districts in cities. At the same time, trucks are introduced to collect mail in the downtown sections of Montréal and Toronto. Big cities are handling increasingly larger volumes of mail.

image Canada truly enters the airmail age with the inauguration of two runs: Pointe-au-Père/Montréal and Montréal/Toronto.

  Three-cent "business reply" envelopes are first introduced in Toronto and Montréal.

  The world’s most northern airmail service is inaugurated between Fort McMurray, Alberta, and Aklavik, Northwest Territories.

image Issue of a postage stamp commemorating the Bluenose. It is one of the finest stamps in the world.

  The last Midget model postage meter machines are withdrawn from service in September and are replaced with a model "H" machine.

  "Special delivery" service for parcel post within Canada is inaugurated.

  Regular transatlantic and trans-Canada airmail service is established.

  The departmental publication Postmark is first issued in August. In December, it is suspended for the duration of the Second World War and resumes publication in May 1948. In March 1969, Postmark ceases publication. Another source of postal history goes by the wayside.

  In November 1941, "airgraph message service" is inaugurated. Messages from friends and relatives to members of the Armed Forces in the United Kingdom can be photographed and flown overseas. The initial postal rate is set at 10 cents. At first, an airgraph can only be sent to the Armed Forces overseas. In November 1942, the service is expanded to include airgraphs from personnel of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, and British and Allied Armed Forces serving in Canada to their families and friends in the United Kingdom. In July 1942, airgraph message service becomes available to civilians in the United Kingdom. In July 1945, airgraph service is discontinued between Canada and all other countries.

  In May, letter carrier delivery service is reduced from two deliveries to one delivery a day, six days a week. In 1945, twice-daily letter carrier service is restored "provided that such restoration will be effective gradually ... when men returning from military service are available ... [and] when the actual requirements of the public service demand the restoration of the two deliveries per day." In April 1946, two deliveries per day are resumed in residential areas. In 1951, letter carrier delivery service to residential areas is reduced from two to one calls per day. Starting 17 February 1969, Saturday delivery service in major urban centres is discontinued and a five-day week delivery service is introduced.

  Special air letter cards for corresponding with prisoners of war in Germany and Italy are made available to the public.

  The Armed Forces "air letter," a combined letter and envelope, is introduced with a postage fee of 10 cents when sent to members of the Armed Forces overseas. In September 1944, the blue Armed Forces air letter is extended for use by civilians to civilians. In January 1945, the grey air letter replaces the blue Armed Forces air letter for both service and civilian use.

  Postal censorship in Canada is transferred from the jurisdiction of the Postmaster General to the Minister of National War Services.

  A stage route of over 1600 km (1,000 miles) opens to provide daily mail service from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Whitehorse, Yukon.

  In February, the "mailomat," a public-use coin-operated postage meter, is introduced in Ottawa.

  In March, the Canadian Army "casualty postcard" is introduced for use in hospitals by next-of-kin.

  Trans-Pacific airmail service is introduced between Canada, Australia and Fiji.

image Walter James Turnbull assumes office as Deputy Postmaster General of Canada on 9 June 1945, retiring on 1 December 1957.

  In Ottawa, an experimental helicopter flight between Uplands Airport and the Besserer Street Post Office is the first mail ever to be carried by helicopter in Canada.

  After 31 December 1946, all free postage privileges and special, reduced postage rates for members of the Armed Forces are withdrawn.

  Special delivery service for airmail and surface mail between Canada and the United States is inaugurated in April.

  The first postage-imprinted Canada air letter forms are released.

  "All-up" airmail service is inaugurated 1 July and provides for air transportation of all first-class mail where possible.

  Roman numerals are introduced to indicate the month in date stamps.

  Newfoundland joins Canada adding another 550 post offices to the Canadian roster.

  "Special delivery" stickers are authorized for use by the public to affix to letters and parcels.

  The Canadian Girl Guides Postal Badge is authorized.

  An experimental jet mail flight is undertaken between Malton, Ontario, and Idlewyld, New York, on 18 April. The flight time is 59 minutes and 58 seconds and is the first flight of its kind in North America.

  Special arrangements are made for postal service to Canada’s Armed Forces proceeding to or serving in Korea.

  Canada’s smallest post office at Ocean Park, British Columbia, closes. The first Postmaster, F. S. Pratt, originally set it up in 1923 from a .56-m2 (six-foot-square) collapsible house.