During the summer of 1958, just before her 28th birthday, Princess Margaret made her first official visit to Canada to attend the centenary celebrations of the province of British Columbia. Of her ten visits to the country in total, this was by far the longest, spanning a total of 31 days from the 12th of July to the 11th of August, and encompassing visits to Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec.
The township of Etobicoke, incorporated in 1850 and promoted to city status in 1967, was merged in 1998 into the amalgamated city of Toronto. On her visit of 1958, the Princess opened the Princess Margaret Junior School in Etobicoke, which she later re-opened on her final visit to the country in July 1996; and also the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, which she again re-visited in 1996.
The inscription, dated the 5th August 1958 to Her Royal Highness the Princess Margaret from the city of Montreal, is signed by the city's mayor at the time, Sarto Fournier (1908-1980). He had become the youngest member of the Canadian Senate in 1953, and served as Mayor of Montreal from 1957 to 1960.