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Canada Postage Stamps and Canada Postal History

Canada Flag - stamps and postal history
Colony of Canada
  • The first settlers in area, then known as "New France", were the French in 1608 in Ontario.

  • The French were defeated by British troops during the Seven Years' War and "New France" was ceded to Britain in 1763.

  • In 1791 the British territory was divided into Upper Canada (now Ontario) and Lower Canada (now Quebec).

  • In 1840 Quebec and Ontario were united to form the self governing colony of Canada.

  • In April 1851 the first stamps were issued by the Colony of Canada.

  • Nova Scotia
  • The first permanent settlements, in what is now Nova Scotia, were established by the French in 1605. The French colony was named "Acadia" and it also included what is now New Brunswick.

  • Acadia was ceded to Britain in 1713 and renamed Nova Scotia.

  • Nova Scotia first issued stamps on 1 September 1851.

  • New Brunswick
  • In 1784 New Brunswich became a separate colony.

  • New Brunswick first issued stamps in September 1851.

  • Prince Edward Island
  • The island was ceded by the French in 1763 and became part of Nova Scotia.

  • In 1769 Prince Edward Island became a separate colony.

  • The first stamps to be issued on the island was on 1 January 1861.

  • British Columbia and Vancouver Island
  • British Columbia and Vancouver Island were separate colonies with a joint stamp issue which was first issued in 1860.

  • The two colonies then had separate issues British Colombia's first stamp was issued on 1 November 1865 and Vancouver Island on 19 September 1985.

  • On 19 November 1866 the two colonies united as British Colombia.

  • Newfoundland
  • Newfoundland was administered as part of England from 1583; as a colony from 1713; and self governing from 1855.

  • Newfoundland first issued stamps on 1 January 1857.

  • Dominion of Canada
  • In 1867 Canada, New Brunswich and Nova Scotia federated to form the Dominion of Canada.

  • British Colombia joined the federation in 1871 and Prince Edward Island in 1873.

  • On 1 April 1949 Newfoundland joined the Dominion of Canada.


  • Philatelic Societies for Collectors of Canada Postage Stamps and Postal History

    The Canadian Philatelic Society of Great Britain
    THe Society's roots go back to the 1930ís when a small band of Scottish enthusiasts formed the Scottish Canadian Study Circle. After the Second World War in 1946 the Circle re-launched itself under the present name. The aims of the Society include the promotion and study of all aspects of British North American philately. Membership is worldwide and there is, naturally, a strong representation in Canada and the USA.

    British North America Philatelic Society
    The British North America Philatelic Society Ltd. - BNAPS - is an international organization (founded 1943) devoted to the collecting and study of the stamps, markings, and postal history of Canada and the pre-confederation colonies of British North America (British Columbia, Canada, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island).

    Postal History Society of Canada
    The PHSC is devoted to the study of the postal history of Canada and the early North American colonies. Originally founded in 1972 as the Postal History Society of Ontario, the name was changed in June 1977, reflecting the expanded nature and scope of the Society.


    New Issues of Canada postage stamps

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    Selected pages on Canada Postage Stamps and Canada Postal History

    Canada's 12 Pence Black of 1851
    Issued on June 14, 1851, Canada's 12-penny black features a portrait of the youthful Queen Victoria, a reproduction of a full-length painting by Alfred E. Chalon. This 12d was the high value of Canada's first three stamps. The 12d denomination, instead of 1 shilling, was used because the value of a shilling differed in various parts of North America at that time. In most of New England, the shilling was equal to l0d, while in New York it was valued at 7d. The 12d denomination left no room for monetary confusion.

    Small Queens Issue
    A Guide to Identification of Printings
    by John Hillson, FCPS

    Canada Stamps and Postal History The Admiral Stamps of Canada
    by Tony Brown & Mike Burn
    The period from 1911 until 1928 has become one of the most studied areas of Canadian philately...

    The Stamps of Kaulbach Island
    by Tony Brown
    From 1971 to 1984, local postal labels were issued by the Kaulbach Island Local Carriage Service on mail that was transported to and from the island to the mainland

    History of the Postal System of Canada
    Source : W. Stewart Wallace, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. V, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 401p., pp. 148-150.

    Fancy Cancels
    by John Hillson, FCPS
    An interesting period in Canadian postal history is the approximately quarter of a century following Confederation (1867), when the use of Fancy Cancels, sometimes referred to, perhaps a little condescendingly, as corks, was in its heyday.

    Canadian Perfin Officials
    by Tony Brown
    Private perfins were used by commercial enterprises, with the earliest known Canadian example being that of the W.J. Gage & Company of Toronto...

    Canadian Postal Museum

    A Chronology of Canadian Postal History

    Canada SG138 Three Dollar Jubilee issue Canadian Postal Rates since 1943
    Listed are selected postal rates of Canada from 1943 to date

    Modern-day Canadian Postage Stamp Paper
    Most of the stamp paper used to print Canadian stamps has a "smooth" appearance. There are, however, some issues that exist with a "ribbed-effect" paper.

    Fluorescence
    Starting in late 1959 / early 1960, stamps began to appear with very tiny fluorescent fibers embedded in the paper, referred to as flecked paper.

    Canadian Phosphor Tagging
    Phosphor tagging was introduced to Canadian stamps during the Wilding definitives - January 13, 1962

    Nova Scotia Stamps & Postal History
    by Richard C Frajola
    The Nova Scotia postal system was under the direct control of the General Post office in London from 1754 until 1851. In the pre-adhesive period prior to 1851, postal markings followed the British pattern...

    Prince Edward Island Folded Letter and Cover Database
    Database of known Prince Edward Island Covers and Folded Letters in the collections of Postal Historians and Collectors around the world...

    Canada First Day Cover Specialist
    Newletter produced in the 1980's by Marcel Cool.

    Canadian Stamp Forgeries & Reproductions
    by Kenneth W. Pugh
    Guide to the fakes and forged stamps of Canada, Vancouver Island and British Columbia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

    Armorial Bearings of Canada - Rafphael Tuck 1908
    Armorial Bearings of Canada - Rafphael Tuck postcard, 1908



    Philatelic Books on Canada Postage Stamps and Canada Postal History

    The Admiral Era: A Rate Study 1912-1928
    by Allan L Steinhart, 1981, 166pp

    The Admiral Issue of Canada
    by George C Marler, 1982, 567pp

    The Airmails of Canada and Newfoundland
    published by the American Air Mail Society, 1997, 552pp
    Covers: Pioneer Flights, SCADTA, Semi-Officials, Airship, Government and other covers 1926-1997, Crash Covers, Balloon, Helicopter, Forces, etc.

    Atlantic Mails, A History of the Mail Service Between Great Britain and Canada to 1889
    by Dr John C Arnell, 1980, 412pp

    Canada Domestic and International Postal Rates and Fees 1870-1999
    by Dr. Robert C. Smith and Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz, 44pp
    Comprehensive tables detailing the rates of postage from 1870 to 1999

    Canada Steel Engraved Constant Plate Varieties
    by Hans Reiche, 1982, 109pp

    Canada's Registry Stystem: 1827-1911
    by Horace W Harrison, 1971, 84pp

    Canada's Small Queen Era, Postal Usage during the Small Queen Era 1870 - 1897
    by George B Arfken, 1989, 459pp

    Canadian Mail by Rail 1836 - 1867
    by L F Gillam, 1985, 164pp

    The Canadian Military Posts
    by W J Bailey and E R Troop, 1984-1990
    Vol 1, 269pp, Colonial to 1919; Vol 2, 367pp, 1920-1946; Vol 3, 264pp, 1947-1989

    Canadian Patriotic Post Card Handbook, 1904-1914
    by W L Gutzman Covers, 1985, 143pp

    Canadian Post Offices 1755-1895
    by Frank W Campbell, 1972, 208pp

    Canadian Postage Stamps and Stationery
    by Clifton A Howes, 1911; 1974 reprint, 301pp

    Collect Canada Covers
    by Edward A Richardson, 1978, 103pp

    The Colonial Postal System and Postage Stamps of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1849-1871
    by Alfred S Deaville, 1928; 1980 reprint, 211pp+14 plates

    Early Canada Stamp Perforation Measurements
    by J Goldberg, 1996, 10pp
    The 1857-1899 period, a scholarly pursuit getting back to the actual method of rotary perforation, not for the general collector.

    Early Rapid Cancelling Machines of Canada
    by David Sessions, 1982, 137pp

    Encyclopedia of the Empire, Volume V, North America
    by Robson Lowe, 1973, 760pp

    The Essays and Proofs of British North America
    by Kenneth Minuse and R. H Pratt, 1970, 198pp
    The definitive work on BNA Essays and Proofs from the Essay Proof Society.

    First Decimal Issue of Canada 1859-68
    by Geoffrey Whitworth, 1966, 95pp

    Five Cents Beaver Stamp of Canada
    by Geoffrey Whitworth, 1985, 95pp

    A History of Canadian R.P.O.'s 1853-1967
    by L F Gillam, 1967, 179 + 17pp

    Large Queen Stamps of Canada and their Use 1868-1872
    by Duckworth Stamps, 1986, 488pp

    Newfoundland Air Mails 1919-1939
    by C H C Harmer, edited by Eisendrath, 1953; 1984 update, 181pp

    Newfoundland, Travelling Post Office Cancellations
    by Kidd and Cockrill, 1987, 52pp

    Nova Scotia Post, Its Offices, Masters and Marks 1700-1867
    by MacDonald, 1985, 295pp

    Ontario Broken Circles
    by W. Bruce Graham, published by the Postal History Society of Canada, 1999. 240pp
    A very large checklist of all known or suspected broken circle postmarks ("split circles") of Ontario and its predecessors. About 12000 are listed. Also includes other datestamps used in Upper Canada, Canada West, as well as Ontario.

    The Pence Issues of Newfoundland
    by Robert H Pratt, 1982, 192pp

    Postage Stamps and Cancellations of Prince Edward Islands 1814-1873
    by James C Lehr, 1987, 174pp

    Postage Stamps and Postal History of Canada
    by Winthrop S Boggs, 1946, 825pp, two volumes;
    1975, Quarterman reprint, 624pp, (About 200 pages of reference data have been left out of the 1975 edition.)

    Postage Stamps of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
    by N Argenti, 1962; 1976 reprint, 223pp

    Postal History of the Canadian Contingents in the Anglo-Boer War
    by Rowe, 1981, 104pp

    The Postal History of the Post Card in Canada 1871-1911
    by Steinhart, 1979, 65pp+70 illustrations

    Postal History of Yukon Territory
    by Robert G Woodall, 1976, 267pp

    The Postal Stationery of Canada - A Reference Catalogue
    by Nelson Bond, 1953, 132pp
    A comprehensive catalogues all the Envelopes, Air Letter Forms, Post Bands, Wrappers, Letter Cards, Post Cards which had been issued by Canada and Newfoundland up to the date of publication.

    The Semi-Official Air Stamps of Canada, 1924-34
    by Longworth-Dames, 1982, 116pp

    The Small Queens of Canada
    by John Hillson, 1981, 24pp; 1989, 2nd revised edition, 112pp