Plaque commémorative pour le premier télégraphe
Commemorative plaque - First Electric Telegraph National Historic Event

The inauguration of the first electronic telegraph was designated as a national historic event in May 1925

Historical importance: Line from Toronto to Queenston carried first message in 1846

Commemorative plaque: 93 Front Street East, Toronto, Ontario

19 December 1846 marked the inauguration of the telegraph in Canada. This major development in communications was pioneered by the Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Company whose line then being built between Toronto and Queenston carried the first message, from the mayor of Toronto to his Hamilton counterpart. To most Canadians the early telegraph was an expensive novelty but both the press and business soon adapted it to their use. In 1852 the successful but limited Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara enterprise was bought by the larger Montreal Telegraph Company.



Photographie historique d'un télégraphe
Canadian National Raiway telegraph - register of receiving unit used in 1850.
© Library and Archives Canada / Copyrights expired
Mains d'un homme qui ouvre du courrier
Special Model Pictures for Canadian National Railway Telegraph Displays.
© Canadian National Railways / Library and Archives Canada / Copyrights expired


Train car filled with mail
Interior of a railway car adapted to use by Railway Mail Service.
© Library and Archives Canada / PA-098506 / Copyrights expired
Deux hommes décharge le courrier d'un wagon
Railway mail clerks off-loading mail.
© Library and Archives Canada / Copyrights expired


Intérieur d'un bureau de télégraphe
Interior of first C.P.R. [Canadian Pacific Railway] mountain telegraph office.
© Library and Archives Canada / unkown photographer / Ernest Brown fonds / e011303100-016_s1 / Copyrights expired
Groupe d'hommes dans les montagnes
C.P.R. (Canadian Pacific Railway) telegraph gang in the mountains.
© Library and Archives Canada / unkown photographer / Ernest Brown fonds / e011303100-017_s3 / Copyrights expired

The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Get information on how to participate in this process