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Canada’s Victoria Day: A Scarce Holiday Postcard

May 17th, 2007 · 2 Comments

Victoria Day, Canadian Holiday

Happy Victoria Day! While it can be difficult to find early Victoria Day postcards, here’s an attractive 1907 example published by Warwick & Rutter of Toronto to celebrate the event. Always held on the last Monday on or before 24 May, Victoria Day, or Fête de la Reine, celebrates both Queen Victoria’s birthday (1837-1901) and that of the current reigning Canadian sovereign, now Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1845, Queen Victoria’s birthday was declared a holiday by the Province of Canada; this holiday has been celebrated in Canada since at least 1854, when about 5,000 Upper Canada residents gathered in Toronto on 24 May near the intersection of present-day King and Simcoe Sts. (the old Government House location), to cheer the Queen.

In this charming and nicely detailed antique postcard, a smiling, cigar-smoking father leads his wife and five children towards the throngs gathered by a docked steamboat. The card, entitled “First Picnic of the Season,” shows the children carrying a baseball, a baseball bat and a soccer ball. Victoria Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer in Canada; many seasonal businesses open for the year on this date. This popular long weekend also means the beginning of spring to gardeners, while the fact that frost dates have likely passed also means the start of cottage season. Parades and fireworks are part of the celebrations.

Browse our selection of holiday postcards, or read about Canadian curling and hockey sports postcards.

Copyright ©2007

Tags: Postcards

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ian dantzer // May 9, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Is this card for sale?

  • 2 VintagePostcards // May 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Hi Ian,

    This postcard is from our personal collection of Canadiana and isn’t for sale. However, if I should find another, I’d be happy to offer it to you.

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