With over a thousand volumes, this small but focused collection is an excellent staff resource, rich in information pertaining to all aspects of the Town of York Historical Society’s mandate. The library also contains a number of rare books relating to the early postal system in Upper Canada and some indexed historical and philatelic periodicals. Vertical files of research on postal history and the early history of York/Toronto and its denizens are also located on site. The collection is constantly being enriched through acquisitions and donations.
You may now search the collection through anas well as by visiting the actual Library.
Because of its location on the fourth floor of the post-office building, adjacent to the administrative offices, the Library is currently available for research by appointment only. Contact Toronto’s First Post Office at 416-865-1833 for further information.
The Town of York Historical Society is the custodian of a substantial body of correspondence relating to the postal service in colonial Upper Canada. Its collection also includes documents and artifacts pertaining to the history of the Bank of Upper Canada and the De La Salle Institute, buildings to which the 1833 post office was conjoined after 1873.
A significant array of early nineteenth-century letter-writing paraphernalia – including pens, penknives, quill cutters, inkwells, seals and pounce pots – makes up a large portion of the holdings. These fascinating and varied items, along with their often ingenious adaptations for use while travelling, serve to remind us what a complicated business it was to communicate over distances in that bygone era.
Other objects relate to the postal system in British North America prior to 1851. The post office itself is decorated with period furniture and accessories. Its reading room, where the original patrons would have both read and replied to their mail, houses in addition both permanent and changing exhibitions.
Photos and Gallery COMING SOON!