Toronto's First Post Office 260 Adelaide Street West
Although not situated within our boundaries, this little gem is well worth the visit. Toronto's First Post Office http://www.townofyork.com/about.html is now a living museum and National Historical Site as well as a working Post Office. Built by Postmaster James Scott Howard under the supervision of the Postmaster General for British North America, 260 Adelaide Street East (then Duke Street) was home to the post office and postmaster family until 1841. The building was used as the family home for Hardware Merchant Thomas Harris for the next 30 years, then by the Catholic Church for various schools and offices. After years of neglect and a devastating fire the block was restored and the old post office renovated thanks to a grant from Benjamin Moore in 2002.
As an authorized Dealer for Canada Post the museum offers postal services as an appropriate continuation of its original purpose. Parcels can be mailed and all current and commemorative stamps are offered for sale. Post Office boxes are also available for rent. The reading room with original fireplace is available to customers wishing to write letters, postcards or apply stamps to wedding invitations or out of town parcels.
In the 19th century going to the post office was a special event. The Postmaster would advertise in the local paper who had mail and farmers from outlying areas would often use the writing room to read and write letters as it was often quite a journey. Post Office staff would often read and write letters for those who could not read or write.
Proceeds from the gift shop and a small percentage of postage sales benefit the museum. So next time you need to buy stamps or post an out of town parcel or impress out of town guests check out the post office on Adeliade street.