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October 14, 2008
Early Toronto postal history at the Market Gallery
The City of Toronto, through its Market Gallery program, presents Over Any Distance Imaginable: The Royal Mail from York from October 25, 2008 to February 28, 2009. This exhibition, courtesy of Toronto’s First Post Office, offers insight into a tumultuous period of our history, the 1830s, and one in which letters were the only form of long-distance communication.

Over Any Distance Imaginable evokes a city undergoing exponential growth due to immigration from the old world, and a population experiencing both hope and doubt in the new world. It also chronicles an episode of armed revolution, when the new world rebelled against the old, that precipitated the formation of this country we call Canada.

Toronto’s First Post Office is the custodian of an unparalleled collection of artefacts relating to early 19th century communication. Writing and post-office paraphernalia, as well as the letters that passed back and forth across the counter manned by Postmaster James Scott Howard, tell the stories of Toronto’s early citizens and of how their words were transported around the world - over rough water and even rougher roads - or lost along the way. Mr. Howard’s own rise and abrupt fall in the postal service during the 1837 rebellion is also examined.

The Market Gallery is a program of Toronto Cultural Services and presents changing exhibitions dedicated to Toronto’s art, culture, history and offers educational programs for school groups and adults. Located in Toronto’s oldest neighbourhood, the main gallery occupies the 19th century city council chamber, which is all that remains from the City Hall that stood on this site from 1845-1899. The gallery offers educational programs for school groups and adults.

The Market Gallery is located on the second floor of the South St. Lawrence Market, 95 Front St. E. Gallery hours are: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Sunday, Monday and holidays. Admission is free.

For more information about Toronto Cultural Services museums and art centres, visit For more information about the Town of York Historical Society, please visit

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Pamela Wachna, Co-ordinator of Collections and Outreach, 416-392-7604,



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