Carlton Cards is a century-old greeting card company, founded in 1920 in Toronto, Ontario, with a focus on helping Canadians build meaningful connections and celebrate life’s special moments. Today Carlton Cards is Canada’s #1 greeting card company, whose mission is to make the world a more thoughtful and caring place… Every. Single. Day.
Through the Decades:
Moments & Milestones
Carlton Cards is founded in 1920 by Harry Harshman on Spadina Avenue near Dundas Street in downtown Toronto, Ontario. The business grows rapidly. In 1923 Carlton Cards needs more space and moves to a new facility at Richmond and Peter Street in Toronto, Ontario.
Carlton Cards is incorporated in 1933.
Carlton Cards is purchased by American Greetings of Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. in 1956. In 1957, Carlton Cards continues to grow its operations and relocates to King Street in Toronto, Ontario.
In 1964, Carlton Cards expands yet again and relocates to a new corporate headquarters featuring state-of-the-art printing presses at 1460 The Queensway in Toronto, Ontario.
Carlton Cards establishes itself as a formidable competitor in the social expressions industry and surpasses Hallmark as the market leader in Canada. Carlton Cards purchases RLK Industries in 1979 and changes its name to Plus Mark which becomes Canada’s leading supplier of Christmas wrap and boxed cards.
In 1982 Carlton Cards acquires RustCraft Canada strengthening our position as the market leader in Canada. In 1989, Carlton Cards launches its first French language brand designed specifically for French Canadians called “Entre Nous”; writers from Quebec were added to the Carlton Cards creative team to give the greeting card line an authentic French-Canadian voice.
In 1994, Carlton Cards implements its North American Strategy with its parent company, American Greetings to streamline and integrate production across North America. Five years later, the strategy expands to include manufacturing, order filling and distribution operations offering its retail partners improved customer service and direct-to-store product delivery across North America.
After 88 years in Toronto, on June 2, 2008, Carlton Cards relocates to a new home at 1820 Matheson Blvd in Mississauga, Ontario. The new 38,000 square foot state-of-the-art office space features open ceilings, and bright splashes of colour throughout – the perfect setting for Canada’s #1 greeting card company to collaborate and focus on continued growth. Additionally in 2008, American Greetings acquires Recycled Paper Greetings, a leading humour brand with an environmental focus and the following year, also acquires Papyrus a leader in luxury greeting cards giving Carlton Cards added breadth to their brand portfolio and added value for their retail partners.
Carlton Cards solidifies it’s leadership position in Canada with an industry-leading portfolio of brands. In 2018, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice purchases a 60% ownership stake in American Greetings Corporation which included Carlton Cards.
In 2020, Carlton Cards, Canada’s #1 greeting card company celebrates its 100th year of making the world a more thoughtful and caring place… Every. Single. Day. We are proud that our products have helped Canadians celebrate life’s special moments for 100 years.