Janet Walters, Toronto

To be without access to a post office in the 19th century would be akin to being deprived of internet or cell-phone access today. Communities revolved around them. Before Toronto was incorporated as a city in 1834 the Town of York had a succession of post offices. York’s Fourth and Toronto’s First still exists today at 260 Adelaide Street East. It is the last surviving British colonial post office in Canada. In 1982 the restoration of this building won top spot in the nation for the quality of the work. The Town of York Historical Society rents part of the restored building and operates it as a full-service post office (authorized by Canada Post) and postal museum in what is now a designated National Historic Site. The following video showcases one of the artifacts in the museum’s extensive collection of 19th-century letter-writing paraphernalia.

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