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That time the CN Tower was on a Romanian stamp

Posted by Aubrey Jax / January 18, 2014

Toronto CN Tower Romanian stampThe CN Tower had its day in the sun over Romania thanks to something we think about less and less - the little picture on a stamp. Once upon a time snail mail was a huge deal in Toronto, but as it goes out of style (RIP) so will the stamps we kissed for good luck.

Yet in 1996 long before philatelists (stamp collectors, duh) had an inkling of how doomed their passion could become, something called the International Philatelic Libraries Association (IPLA) formed in Toronto at a party called the Capex 96 (the 1996 Canadian Philatelic Exhibition). And what a party it was - forty-five philatelic reps from twenty-five libraries in Canada, France, England, Germany, Finland, Cyprus, South Africa and more - including, one must assume, Romania - attended. Crashing a stamp convention is definitely on my bucket list.

Toronto CN Tower Romanian stampNo record currently exists as to how crazy Capex 96 got (possibly a testament to how crazy things got), but Romania must have had fun because its Toronto-centric stamp is probably the best ever to feature this fine city, though we've posted some others below. They didn't even feel the need to add superfluous mountains (see below) or cute kitties.

Apparently the International Philatelic Libraries Association is still active on every continent, but if it is they must do all their business by snail-mail because their Google presence is almost enviably negligible. IPLA, what's up? Someone must remember this party.

As for other Toronto-centric stamps -- while the CN Tower also rather mysteriously appears surrounded by mountains on a Liberian $15 stamp from 2001, Toronto's urban landscape hasn't made an appearance on many Canadian stamps to date - that honour seems most often to go to Canada geese, Parliament Hill, and (ugh) the queen - but the Spadina streetcar was featured in 2013 as part of Canada Post's "Chinatown Gates" series, and a few others have popped up, including a Millennium Collection stamp that featured the good old CN Tower itself.

Here are some of Toronto's other philatelic appearances. You can also check out some (mostly terrible) fan-made stamps here on Zazzle. Obviously we at DrakeTO eagerly await the Drake stamp.

Toronto stampMount Assiniboine & CN Tower, A Philatelic Tour of The World, 2001, Liberia, $15

Toronto stampToronto neighbourhood, Ontario Street Scene, 1982, 60¢

Toronto stampRunnymede Library, 1989, $1

Toronto stamp1867-1967 Toronto, Capital City of Ontario, 1967, 5¢ (Check out this City Hall stamp that never made the cut.)

Toronto stampCN Tower, The Millennium Collection, 2000, 46¢

Toronto stampToronto Stock Exchange 1852-2002, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the TSX, 2002, 48¢

Toronto stampChinatown gates - Zhong Hua Men Gateway Arch, 2013

Toronto stampCapex 87 Post Office (via Toronto's First Post Office)



Great Hall / January 18, 2014 at 09:58 am
Doug Ford / January 18, 2014 at 10:11 am
I'm on a Romanian stamp with Rob that says, "Great World Statesmen".
Rob / January 18, 2014 at 12:52 pm
Well thanks to our crack smoking mayor these will never happen again as our reputation is permanently damaged.

If only everyone didn't have amazing long term memories.
Dave / January 18, 2014 at 02:50 pm
Rob Ford stamps should be made, imagine just the words "Stupor Mayor" gracing the bottom of a laughing Rob.
glenn storey / January 18, 2014 at 03:32 pm
by rights, shouldn't there be a romanian stripper using it for a pole?
Grant McMullen / January 19, 2014 at 11:39 am
That image would actually make a terrific postcard.
Stampy / January 19, 2014 at 05:07 pm
That's great and all, but what've they done for us PHILATELY? (See what I did there?)
Gail / January 19, 2014 at 11:18 pm
We will be on International Stamps oneagain when we win an Olympic bid. We will win a bid and host theOlympics.We deserve this,
Al / January 19, 2014 at 11:41 pm
The first (and largest with a pretty sunset) looks to be from Vatican City...wasn't the Pope here after 1996...perhaps our friends from Vatican City were doing some early scouting of the place???
Baby / January 20, 2014 at 11:15 pm
Me too!
arnold / January 21, 2014 at 02:22 pm
Why does your headline say romanian but the first stamp is italian from the vatican
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