Canada Post introduces new state-of-the-art parcel sorting facility
By Adam FreillCommercial Construction Green Construction
Naming of the Albert Jackson Processing Centre pays respect to an important legacy.
Canada Post recently unveiled its new, leading-edge zero-carbon parcel sorting facility that will have the capacity to process more than one million packages a day when it officially opens early next year. The Albert Jackson Processing Centre will be a key hub for the company’s national network.
The $470 million centre, located at 1395 Tapscott Road in Scarborough, Ont., has been designed to help Canada Post meet the rapidly changing needs of Canadians and businesses across the country, and to keep up with the continued growth in online shopping. The facility is a significant component of the corporation’s plan to increase parcel capacity by more than 50 per cent across its network over the next seven years.
Sitting at 585,000 square feet, or roughly the size of six Canadian football fields, it will have the capacity to handle more than 60,000 packages per hour, a 50 per cent increase over Canada Post’s current largest parcel plant, the Gateway facility in Mississauga, Ont.
General contracting firm Pomerleau (Toronto) Building Construction has been overseeing the construction of the facility, which is Canada Post’s first zero-carbon building and the largest industrial project in Canada with the Zero Carbon Building Standard designation.
The centre’s name pays respect to Albert Jackson, who is believed to be the first Black letter carrier in Canada. Jackson fought and overcame significant racial barriers, including the right to work in the position he was hired for.
Jackson had been born into slavery and found freedom in Canada after his mother fled north on the Underground Railroad. In 1882, he was hired as a letter carrier in Toronto, but his colleagues refused to train him and he was instead assigned to a lower position.
The Black community in Toronto rallied around Jackson, demanding he be allowed to do the job for which he had been hired. With then-Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald facing intense pressure during a close election, the government eventually intervened. Able to return to work as a letter carrier, Jackson held the job for 36 years until his death in 1918.
Jackson was commemorated on a stamp in 2019 and, with the naming of the Albert Jackson Processing Centre, Canada Post aims to honour, share and preserve his legacy, and serve as a reminder of the importance of equality and respect in the workplace.
Members of the Jackson family, including two who work for Canada Post, attended the inauguration event in front of the new building.