Honouring the legacy of Albert Jackson
While the Albert Jackson Processing Centre will help transform Canada Post for the future, its name pays respect to the past – and reflects a strong commitment to equity and inclusion.
Albert Jackson is considered to be the first Black letter carrier in Canada. Born into slavery in the United States, he was just a toddler when, in 1858, his mother escaped to Canada with her children through the Underground Railroad. The family settled in Toronto in a neighbourhood that was home to other formerly enslaved Black Americans. Jackson – the youngest of seven – was the only sibling able to attend school.
In 1882, he applied to be a letter carrier in Toronto. He was hired for the job. However, his coworkers refused to train him and he was instead assigned to a lower position. While his story was debated in the press, the Black community in Toronto rallied around Jackson, demanding he be allowed to work in the role he was hired for.
In 2019, Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp to recognize Albert Jackson and his fight to overcome racial barriers. Regarded as a civil rights hero, Jackson is also considered to be the first Black letter carrier in Canada.
With then-Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald facing intense pressure during a close election, the federal government intervened. Jackson returned to his post days later and served as a letter carrier for almost 36 years, until his death in 1918.
In 2019, Canada Post issued a commemorative stamp to recognize Jackson and his fight to overcome racial barriers.
In May 2022, we held an official naming ceremony at the site of the Albert Jackson Processing Centre. Members of the Jackson family – including two who work for Canada Post – attended the inauguration event in front of the new building.
The naming of the Albert Jackson Processing Centre is intended to honour, share and preserve Jackson’s legacy and serve as a reminder of the importance of equality and respect in the workplace.
Top-banner photo: In May 2022, members of the Jackson family, including two who work for Canada Post, attended an official naming ceremony at the site of the Albert Jackson Processing Centre in northeast Toronto.