Like Australian stamps, the first Canadian stamps were issued by the country’s British colonies, beginning with the Province of Canada (which would become Ontario and Quebec), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia in 1851. Stamps from Newfoundland came next (1857) followed by postage from British Columbia (1860) and Prince Edward Island (1861). The three original British colonies formed the Canadian Confederation in 1867, with Manitoba, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island following in the early 1870s.

One of the most popular sets of Canadian stamps is the one issued in 1897 for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. In all, the set includes 16 stamps in denominations from half-a-cent to $5, with corresponding changes in color. Each features an 1837 portrait of the young queen at the beginning of her rule on the left, paired with an 1890s bust of the widowed Victoria on the right. Beyond stamps of royalty, Canada is also known for stamps of great beauty, such as the 1929 issue depicting a schooner called the Bluenose. From 1988 through 2002, Canada also released a series of Art Canada stamps, each of which depicted a work of art by a Canadian artist, from paintings of scenics and people to a bronze by a member of the Haida Gwaii.


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