Canadian definitive postage stamps

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Canada Post has issued several definitive stamps series since the Dominion of Canada was formed in 1867 featuring both novel and recurring themes. See Postage stamps and postal history of Canada for an overview and for history prior to federation.

Details of stamp issues have been collected and published in various stamp catalogues and in recent decades Canada Post has been issuing regular bulletins.

Victorian period[edit]

The new Canadian government issued a series of stamps on April 1, 1868 featuring a profile of Queen Victoria, superseding previous issues by the separate colonies. These are known as the "Large Queens" comprising the following stamps:

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark
½c black 12x12, 11½x12
1c brown-red 12x12
1c orange 12x12
2c green 12x12
3c red 12x12
5c olive 12x12, 11½x12
6c brown 12x12
21½c blue 12x12
15c purple 12x12
15c blue-grey 12x12

These were followed by the "Small Queens" in 1870.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark
½c black 12x12
1c yellow 12x12, 11½x12
2c green 12x12, 11½x12
3c red 12x12, 11½x12
3c orange 12x12
5c slate 12x12, 11½x12
5c grey 12x12
½c black 12x12
6c brown 12x12, 11½x12
6c red-brown 12x12
8c blue-grey 12x12
10c dark rose 12x12, 11½x12
10c brown 12x12

These were followed by the "Maple Leaf" issue in 1897.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark

King Edward VII[edit]

Upon the accession of King Edward VII, the Maple Leaf design framing a portrait of Edward was issued starting 1903.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark

King George V[edit]

King George V was depicted in 1911 as Admiral of the Fleet in design that continued in use until 1928.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark

The "Scroll" issue of 1928 was the first bilingual stamp issue and also featured pictorial designs for the high values.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark

This was followed in 1930 by the "Arch" series which also included high value pictorials.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark

The "Medallion" series was issued from 1932.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark

The final King George V definitive series was issued in 1935.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark

King George VI[edit]

There were three sets of definitives featuring King George VI, the first series starting in 1937.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark

This was followed by the "War Issue", starting in 1942.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark

The final King George VI definitives depicted the king in a much plainer design and were issued starting in 1949.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark

Queen Elizabeth II[edit]

Upon her accession to the throne following the death of King George VI, a definitive series depicting Queen Elizabeth II was issued in 1953. The design for the issue was from a photograph supplied by Karsh, of Ottawa. The stamps are engraved and printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited, Ottawa.

Date of Issue Scott # Denomination Color Quantity Perforation
1-May-1953 325 1c violet brown 169,000,000 12
1-May-1953 326 2c green 338,000,000 12
1-May-1953 327 3c red 332,000,000 12
1-May-1953 328 4c violet 406,000,000 12
1-May-1953 329 5c blue 109,000,000 12

This was quickly followed by a series in 1954 featuring the Queen's Wilding portrait.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation
1c violet brown 12
2c green 12, 9½ x imperf.
3c red 12
4c violet 12, 9½ x imperf.
5c blue 12, 9½ x imperf.
6c orange 12

The next series of Canadian definitives starting in 1962 again featured the Queen.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation
1c brown 12
2c green 12
3c purple 12
4c red 12
5c blue 12

The following series starting in 1967 featured the Queen and pictorials for the high values.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation Watermark

The series starting from 1972 featured Canadian prime ministers for the low values, the Queen for the base rate and pictorials for the high values.

Date of Issue Denomination Color Quantity Perforation

The next definitive series began in 1977. It featured Canadian flora, the Queen and parliament buildings for low values, larger flora designs for medium values, and street scenes and national parks for high values.

Date of Issue Denomination Design/Color Perforation
Flora, small size[1]
22 April 1977 1c Bottle Gentian 12x12.5, 13x13.5
22 April 1977 2c Western Columbine 12x12.5, 13x13.5
22 April 1977 3c Canada Lily 12x12.5, 13x13.5
22 April 1977 4c Hepatica 12x12.5, 13x13.5
22 April 1977 5c Shooting Star 12x12.5, 13x13.5
22 April 1977 10c Sparrow's Egg Lady's Slipper 12x12.5, 13, 13x13.5
6 July 1978 12c Jewelweed 13x13.5
16 August 1979 15c Canada Violet 13x13.5
Flora, medium size[1]
8 August 1977 15c Trembling Aspen 13.5
8 August 1977 20c Douglas Fir 13.5
8 August 1977 25c Sugar Maple 13.5
7 March 1978 30c Red Oak 13.5
8 March 1979 35c Eastern White Pine 13.5
Street scenes[1]
6 July 1978 50c prairie town street scene 13.5
11 May 1982 60c Ontario street scene 13.5
6 July 1978 75c Quebec street scene 13.5
6 July 1978 80c Atlantic coast street scene 13.5
National parks[1]
24 January 1979 $1 Fundy National Park 13.5
? $1 ? ?
18 June 1982 $1.50 Waterton Lakes National Park 13.5
27 April 1979 $2 Kluane National Park 13.5
21 June 1985 $2 Banff National Park 13.5
10 January 1983 $5 Point Pelee National Park 13.5
? $5 ? ?

Queen

Parliament House

Artifacts

Maple Leaf

Parliament House

Queen

Animals

Architecture

Flags

Queen (self-adhesives)