Today is an historic day. Canada Post announced today it will phase out door-to-door mail delivery in several urban centres.
It’s also an historic day for our band as we announce Trent Severn postage stamps!
In my town of St. Marys, the change of no door-to-door will have little effect as residents have been trudging to the post office in sleet, snow and sun to collect letters and parcels for several years. We have not had mail come to our front doors for a while now.
The one upside of no urban delivery in my town is that the post office is a buzzing centre of social activity. Old friends smile and shake hands. New friends meet and stop to chat. I’m sure the postal workers at our post office have a different, very over-worked view but I do enjoying seeing them as much as my neighbours.
Here’s a little history on the first airmail delivery in Canada which is quite fascinating.
Leaside Aerodrome was an airport in the Town of Leaside, Ontario (now a neighbourhood of Toronto). It opened in 1917 as a Royal Flying Corps airfield during the First World War.
Unlike nearby Armour Heights Field, the airfield was not abandoned at the end of the war, but was acquired for use by the Toronto Flying Club. After the war, the airstrip became the site of Canada’s first delivery of airmail on June 24, 1918 when pilot Brian Peck delivered 120 letters from Montreal (taking off from Bois-Franc Field). This delivery was initially organized at the behest of some of his friends in Montreal who wanted letters delivered to Toronto; however when the Post Office Department heard of the plans, they gathered together the letters as a test of an airmail system. A modern plaque at the site of Leaside Aerodrome reads: “At 10:12 a.m. on June 24, 1918, Captain Brian Peck of the Royal Air Force and mechanic Corporal C.W. Mathers took off from the Bois Franc Polo Grounds in Montreal in a JN-4 Curtiss two-seater airplane. They had with them the first bag of mail to be delivered by air in Canada. Wind and rain buffetted the small plane and forced it to make refuelling stops at Kingston and Deseronto. Finally, at 4:55 p.m., Peck and Mathers landed at the Leaside Aerodrome (immediately southwest of here). The flight had been arranged by a civilian organization, the Aerial League of the British Empire, to demonstrate that aviation was the way of the future.” A regular air express service began in 1928.
Please check back in the next weeks on how to order your own book of Trent Severn stamps.
And keep sending us those postcards on what inspires you about Canada. We will trudge to the community mailbox in Stratford happily to retrieve them and respond (yes by snail mail).
356 Ontario Street
Suite # 228
Stratford On. N5A 7X6