OTD: Ottawa’s earliest recorded rugby game

On today’s date in 1867, two non-organized clubs named the Rough Riders and the Senators played the Ottawa area’s earliest recorded rugby game.

Less than a decade later, the Ottawa Football Club was established, and in 1898, the club re-branded itself as the Ottawa Rough Riders.


In 2014, to mark the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) return to Ottawa, Canada Post issued two Permanent stamps (Scott #2754-5) as part of its “Ottawa Redblacks” issue.

The Redblacks were also featured on this Permanent stamp (SC #2755).

The Redblacks team is also featured on a second Permanent stamp issued in 2014.

Canadian-born quarterback and legendary Ottawa Rough Rider Russ Jackson is featured on one stamp against the background of Ottawa’s new stadium—a nod to both the history and perceived future of football in the nation’s capital. Jackson spent his entire 12-year professional football career with the Ottawa team and quarterbacked the Rough Riders to three Grey Cup victories.

Jackson is a member of the Order of Canada, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

The second stamp features the Redblacks logo: a saw blade-notched “R” in front of a circular saw represents Ottawa’s early lumber heritage.


“With over 100 years of history, the CFL has a storied past and reflects the culture, enthusiasm and spirit of Canadians,” said Lisa Raitt, former minister responsible for Canada Post, in 2014. “These stamps build a bridge between Ottawa’s football history and future.”

Lisa Raitt, minister of transportation, said the 2012 Redblacks stamps built a bridge between Ottawa’s football past and future.

The 2014 Redblacks stamps ‘build a bridge between Ottawa’s football history and future,’ said then transportation minister Lisa Raitt.

The two stamps were designed by Bensimon Byrne, the official advertising agency for the CFL. The stamp featuring Russ Jackson and the then-new TD Place stadium was printed by Canadian Bank Note Company Limited in booklets of 10 while the stamp featuring the new team logo was printed by Lowe-Martin Group and is available in coils of 50 stamps.

Both stamps are printed on Tullis Russell paper and have simulated perforations. An official first-day cover was also cancelled in Ottawa.

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