Item 2023.000.16 - Grounds and Office Building

2023.000.16 - Front 2023.000.16 - Back

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Grounds and Office Building

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  • Graphic material

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Reference code

CA LGIC ARC-2023.000.16

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Edition statement

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Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1909 (Creation)
    The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co. Ltd.
    Great Britain

Physical description area

Physical description

2023.000.16: Postcard

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Front: Colour picture – Mimico Branch Asylum in the early 1900s. To the left of the image are dark, bushy trees and a green, manicured lawn. To the right of the image is a large shrub that covers part of a large red brick building with peaks and many windows. The lawn features several small flower beds and a light tan stone or dirt walkway. At the end of the walkway, what looks to be a human figure can be seen, possibly a statue. In the upper left of the postcard, printed over the trees, text on the image reads: “Grounds and Office. Mimico Asylum, Toronto, Canada.” In the lower right corner is the identifying code “104 071” and in a small circle the letters “JV.”

Back: Divided back. Some printed text identifies the maker as Valentine & Sons Publishing. There are a few more lines of printed text.

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Mark / Inscription text:      
(1) Grounds and Office Building. / Mimico Asylum, Toronto, Canada.
(2) 104 071 JV
(3) The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co. Ltd. Montreal and Toronto / Printed in Great Britain
(4) Correspondence
(6) Address Only
(7) (no text)
Mark / Inscription type:
(1) Picture title
(2) Photo ID code
(3) Publisher info
(4) Instructions for postcard side use
(5) Branding
(6) Instructions for postcard side use
(7) Stamp box
Mark / Inscription description:
(2) Photo ID code ends with letters JV in circle
(5) Branding logo “V & Sons” superimposed on double-sided globe
(7) Rectangular outline
Mark / Inscription technique:
(1) Printed, white ink
(2-7) Printed, black ink
Mark / Inscription position:
(1) Front of card, upper left
(2) Front of card, lower right
(3) Back of card, vertically along left edge
(4) Back of card, diagonally in upper left
(5) Back of card, horizontally along top edge, centered
(6) Back of card, horizontally in upper right quadrant, between 5 and 7
(7) Back of card, upper right corner
Mark / Inscription language: English
Mark / Inscription translation: N/A

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This postcard was created and printed by The Valentine & Sons Co., Ltd. Valentine & Sons was a Dundee, Scotland based printing company originally founded in 1825 but did not begin to print postcards until the 1890s. Valentine & Sons first began production of Canadian postcards in 1903 when the company sent a photographer to Montreal. A few years later a Montreal office was formed, followed by offices in Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. In 1909, the Canadian offices became independent were run under the company name of The Valentine & Sons Publishing Co. Ltd. The first Canadian postcards published by Valentine & Sons were monotone black, collotype postcards featuring photos of scenery along the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, north of Lake Superior, as well as scenes in the Rocky Mountains. The tinted halftone and collotype postcards continued to be printed in Great Britain. The main company closed offices in Canada in 1923 but remained focus on printing postcards. (It is important to note that in 1926, the Canadian company split into two: the Toronto-based Valentine Black and the Winnipeg-based Valentine Edy. The two companies continued to reproduce some of the existing images, but Valentine Edy, in particular, adopted new numbering systems in its later years. The Valentine Edy Co. ceased operations in 1957, followed by Valentine Black in 1964.) However, by the 1950s Valentines & Sons, despite the rise of coloured postcards, were producing greeting cards and as a result, the business was struggling. They were eventually purchased by John Waddington & Co. in 1963 and subsequently sold to Hallmark Cards in 1980. In 1994, the Dundee office officially closed.

Typically, Valentine postcards have a 6-digit serial number (###,###) on the view side with the initials “J.V.” in a circle adjacent to that number. The main series of numbering begins with a Halifax card as no. 100,000 and ends (as far as we know) with a postcard of Toronto as no. 115,981. Other relevant codes are the 400,000s and the 600,000s as there are also two short runs of numbers in the 400,000 range that are found on some cards from the Yukon Territory and a longer run of views from various parts of Canada that begins at 600,000 and continues past 602,000. Other countries and areas received various other codes. Typically, the images numbered from the 100,000s through the 105,000s are the most common.

In relation to this postcard, a rough guide was created by The Toronto Postcard Club using a small sample of Valentine & Sons cards. It is important to note that the dates indicated are those of the earliest postmark in the sample. The number on this card is 104,071 which, based on this rough guide, was likely created around July 1909.

This postcard is printed in the half-tone printing style. Half-tone was the cheaper option than the other popular printing method of collotype images. Collotypes was a gelatine-based printing process used between the late 19th and early 20th century to reproduce photographic images on a printing press. These could be left black and white or colourized by directly adding colour to the image. Half-tone prints were cheaper and easier to produce. They are composed of ranges of little dots to create the image. Half-tone prints often look less realistic and “duller”.

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