1. 1997-2004 Cards
(1997 type reprinted borderless)
Postcard Factory Postage Paid Postal
Last Update: December 23, 2006
Prepaid Flag postal cards were first issued in 1997, depicting various Canadian scenes on the front. The reverse has a postage paid icon along with a non-denominated stamp similar to the design of the 45c flag definitive issue, complete with simulated perforations. These cards were produced by The Postcard Factory in Markham, Ontario, and have lent to the name PCF cards.
The Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Canadiana I sets were made available through the National Philatelic Bureau in Antigonish, first announced in the July/August 1997 issue of Canada's Stamp Details. The specified date of issue was July 7, 1997. The Canadiana II set was listed in the January/February issue, with a release date of November 3, 1997. They stopped being listed in the October/December 2000 issue, and a subsequent call to Antigonish indicated they were no longer available from there.
Some of the cards are still available at retail post offices across Canada. Generally, the regionally specific cards (Montreal, Ottawa, etc.) are sold in those areas only, but that is not always the case. Some of the Canadiana cards depicting animals have been seen all across Canada.
Additional cards appeared depicting images of other cities, regions and general Canadiana in 1998. These were never listed for sale in the Canada Post philatelic catalogues Stamp Details or Collections, but some collectors found that they were able to order some by telephone, using the UPC barcode as the stock number. Otherwise they were only available at selected post office retail counters and private businesses across Canada. The dates of issue listed on the tables are from the official post office internal order forms, which lists all the cards and their date of initial availability. However, there is evidence that some of the cards may have been on sale at earlier dates in some post offices or through the Postcard Factory as some cards are known cancelled with earlier dates.
Although the cards available from Antigonish all had the reverse text printed in black, many of them exist with brown text. It is generally believed that the first printings were those done in brown. All subsequent reprints appear to have been done in black.
The are several differences in the front design on the cards. Some have red and blue diagonal airmail-like slashes, while others have brown and light brown slashes, and some brown and green. Some have Air Mail/Par Avion inscriptions, while others don't.
All the original 84 designs bore the UPC number 64392 00025. Later on, Canada Post decided to give each card a unique number for easy inventory control. Existing cards were then applied with a 39mm x 16mm label with a new unique bar code and UPC number for each design. The first five digits remained as before, 64392, with the last five starting with 6 and continuing with sequential numbers, 60001 to 60084. Black and brown cards are both known with UPC stickers. Two positions of stickers are known - reading up from the right side (the most common) and reading down from the left side. Subsequent reprints of various cards had the new UPC bar codes and numbers printed on the back, along with other minor changes in the text.
Table 1 lists the basic designs of the original 84 cards, along with the original PCF number on the back. However, some of these numbers were revised slightly (extra 0's and 57 after Post) when the new printed UPC codes appeared. Also, the size and positioning of some the text on the reverse was altered slightly on some cards.
Eight new views were issued on June 1st, 2001. They are borderless, and described by Canada Post as being tested in the tourist areas that had the highest selling postcard images in 2000. Subsequently, many more borderless designs were to follow, with even more changes in the UPC style and stock keeping methods.
All references to the UPC code on this website drop the 6439 common prefix for simplicity.
Thanks to Georg Gerlach, Clarence Wigmore, Andre Bisaillon, Pierre Gauthier and Robert Lemire for providing valuable information for this page. Please report any corrections, additions to the empty spaces in the table or new cards to Brian Cannon at firstname.lastname@example.org