After the First World War, governments sold off their surplus airplanes for a fraction of their initial value, sometimes as little as $200 per aircraft. This permitted many returning servicemen to purchase their own airplanes. A number of them found their way into the only active markets at the time: mail carrying, barnstorming and smuggling. By 1927, tighter regulations were imposed and the Canadian Post Office Department started to award contracts to a number of companies for postal deliveries to specific destinations. They also began printing special stamps and commissioning artists to produce distinct rubber stamp images depicting characteristics of the communities where the mail originated. These rubber stamps were used for the first days of official airmail deliveries and were called First Day Covers.
Equipped with their stamp collecting booklet, children gather vintage First Day Cover stamps while they follow our friendly guide on a scavenger hunt throughout the museum, highlighting aircraft that have been involved in airmail delivery.
Using ink, rubber stamps and a map of Canada, discover the routes of some of the first airmail flights that connected the country.
The first airmail flight in Canada took place on June 24, 1918.
The first airmail in Western Canada was delivered on July 9, 1918, by Katherine Stinson.
As of May 1st
Summer schedule: Monday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Aviation and Rockcliffe Parkways.