Although postcards were introduced in Canada in 1871, it was only in the late 1890s that cards with a printed picture taking up the entire non-message/address side began to appear. A few years later, with advances in technology and the lowering of international postage rates, there was an explosion of illustrated postcards being produced in and or for virtually all countries. Canada was no exception. In the period before World War I the postcard became the equivalent of today’s quick telephone call. Special postcard sized photographic paper produced by companies such as Kodak was used to create black and white images of scenes and buildings. Local photographers prepared and sold postcards to the people in their communities. If there was no local photographer, itinerant photographers came and took pictures, then sold the result postcards to residents. Subject to further research, it appears that initially this was the case in Ancaster – a visiting photographer looked after the postcard needs of villagers. The next development in postcards was a process whereby coloured reproductions of photographs could be produced by large, for the time, printing companies. To date, the earliest coloured postcard showing an Ancaster scene appeared in 1909.

The Ancaster Township Historical Society is pleased to present the following sample of Ancaster postcards from the collection formed by member Mike Street. Mike is actively seeking information on Ancaster postcards that have not been reported to date. Contact information is given at the bottom of this web page.

The earliest cards – 1906

The Card at right carries the inscription “Ancaster July 1906’ and shows a rural road, believed to be what is now Mineral Springs Road.


The hand written notation on this card reads “Delegation from Lake(xxxxxx?), Ancaster Fair 1906. The people in the picture are in costume. The person on the left appears to be a man in a woman’s dress, the figure in the centre is Satan, and the person on the left may be a lady in an oriental dress.

Ancaster Village 1906-1910

This card is a ‘bird’s eye view’ view’ of the village of Ancaster, looking to the east along Wilson Street from the tower of St. John’s Church. It is postmarked 1907.


At left we see the Amber Glow Hotel, located at the corner of Wilson Street and Sulphur Springs Road, in 1909. The card was written by Mrs. Hannon, wife of the owner of the hotel.


A different view of Wilson street in a card produced in 1906.


One of the earliest colour postcards of Ancaster, postmarked in 1910, shows ‘Main Street’ looking east.


The Town Hall

Here we see two views of the ‘Old Town Hall’ on Wilson Street. The card at left was mailed in 1906, while the one below was mailed in 1951.


Anyone with Ancaster postcards is asked to help develop a complete census of them. Please contact Mike Street at <> or 905-648-3737. Unless otherwise stated all postcard scans are © Mike Street.