New stamp

August 25, 2014

TORONTO – Canada Post's new release of stamps by prominent photographers includes a well-known shot by Michel Lambeth of two Sisters of St. Joseph and a man who helped the sisters in Toronto.

The stamp, titled St. Joseph's Convent School, is one of 35 being released in phases over a five-year period, with seven being introduced this year alone.

"These stamps are the second issue in a five-year series that has been created to showcase and celebrate the best of 150 years of Canadian photography," said Elia Anoia, Canada Post's manager of stamp program development.

"Lambeth's well-known St. Joseph's Convent School, taken in 1960, emphasizes Toronto street life, while capturing his love for working people and concerns about urban social conditions," said a release announcing the stamp.


In total, 460,000 stamps with Lambeth's photograph on it have been printed to be sold in booklets of 10.

Although the stamp is technically a nod in Lambeth's direction, the sisters are ecstatic the photo was chosen.

"I don't know what it means to people in general but I was kind of delighted by it," said Sister Mechtilde O'Mara. The order arrived in Toronto in 1851 as four sisters migrated north from Philadelphia to run an overcrowded orphanage during a typhus and cholera epidemic at the request of Bishop Armand de Charbonnel.

From there, the order expanded its Toronto ministry to include education, health care and social services, all of which were in place by the time Lambeth snapped the photograph in 1960.

O'Mara said she hopes the image will serve as a reminder to the public of the importance of religious orders in Toronto.