Home / National News / Canada Post Unveils Innovative New Parcel Facility, Named After First Black Letter Carrier, Albert Jackson
Canada Post Unveils Innovative New Parcel Facility, Named After First Black Letter Carrier, Albert Jackson

Doug Ettinger, President and CEO of Canada Post; Manon Fortin, Chief Operating Officer, Canada Post; Jan Simpson, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers; Cynthia Lai, Councilor for Scarborough North, City of Toronto; Michael Coteau, Chair of Parliamentary Black Caucus and Member of Parliament for Don Valley East; Lawrence Jackson, grandson to Albert Jackson, and other members of the Jackson family, at the unveiling event of the new Albert Jackson Processing Centre in Scarborough, on May 12, 2022. Photo credit: Pinpoint National Photography.

Canada Post Unveils Innovative New Parcel Facility, Named After First Black Letter Carrier, Albert Jackson

TORONTO, Ontario (Monday, May 16, 2022) — Canada Post unveiled its new leading-edge, zero-carbon parcel sorting facility — named after Albert Jackson, who is believed to be the agency’s first Black letter carrier — at an inauguration event, last Thursday.

Held in front of the new facility, in north Toronto, that has the capacity to process more than one million packages each day, the event’s audience included members of Jackson’s family, Black dignitaries, local politicians, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers President, and company executives.

The Albert Jackson Processing Centre will be a key hub for the company’s national network and improve service for Canadians when it opens in early 2023, revealed Canada Post; adding that while the plant will help transform the company for the future, its name pays respect to the past.

In 1882, Jackson – who had been born into slavery and found freedom in Canada, after his mother fled north on the Underground Railroad – was hired as a letter carrier in Toronto.

Believed to be the first Black letter carrier in Canada, he faced significant barriers in his workplace. His colleagues refused to train him and, instead, he was assigned to a lower position.

The Black community in Toronto rallied around Jackson, demanding he be allowed to do the job for which he had been hired.

With then-Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald facing intense pressure during a close election, the government eventually intervened. Able to return to work as a letter carrier, Jackson held the job for 36 years until his death in 1918.

Canada Post commemorated Jackson on a stamp in 2019, and it said that the naming of the Albert Jackson Processing Centre is intended to honour, share and preserve his legacy, and serve as a reminder of the importance of equality and respect in the workplace.

You can discover more about Jackson and view the stamp by visiting the article that was released at that time.

In a media release, Canada Post announced that the $470 million state-of-the-art facility will help it to meet the rapidly changing needs of Canadians and businesses across the country – and handle the continued growth in online shopping for years to come.

The building is 585,000 square feet – roughly the size of six CFL football fields, and will be able to sort more than 60,000 packages per hour – 50 percent more than Canada Post’s Gateway facility in Mississauga, currently the company’s largest parcel plant.

It will be Canada Post’s first zero-carbon building and the largest industrial project in Canada with the Zero Carbon Building Standard designation, be able to process more than one million packages a day, at full capacity.

An important component in Canada Post’s plan to increase parcel capacity by more than 50 percent across its network over the next seven years, the facility is expected to manage demand, beyond 2030.

The facility is under construction and is expected to be operational in early 2023.

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