What is the Currency of Canada?

The official currency of Canada is the Canadian dollar.

Canada is the tenth largest economy in the world. It borders the world's biggest economy, and both countries refer to their currency as the dollar. The Canadian dollar (CAD) is slightly less valuable than the American dollar and the exchange rate on the 5th of July, 2017 was 1 CAD = 0.77 USD. The dollar is divided into 100 cents locally referred to as the penny. However, the penny was removed from circulation because of its low value. The image on the one-dollar coin is the loon, and the locals refer to the coin as the looney. The CAD is the fifth most reserved currency in the world because of the country’s stable economy, and strong sovereign position. It is estimated that about 2% of the world currency reserve is held in Canadian dollars.

History Of The Canadian Dollar

In 1841, Canada’s currency was referred to as the Canadian pound and was worth four US dollars. The imperial government in London imposed the pound in all its colonies but the local population to assimilate their currency with the US because of the close trade ties. Between 1841 and 1871 several alignments were conducted to streamline the Canadian pound, the sterling pound, and the American dollar. In 1871, the Canadian Parliament passed an act that created the Canadian dollar, during the Second World War, the exchange rate was C$1.10 = US$1.00. In 1960 the value of the currency dropped significantly before it was pegged in 1962 at an exchange rate of C$1.00 = US$0.925.


Six denominations of currency circulate as coins in Canada. The 5¢ (nickel) 10¢ (dime), 25¢ (quarter), 50¢, $1(loonie), and $2 (toonie). In 2012 the production of the 1¢ (penny) was discontinued due to inflation that made its production costs higher than its value. The Royal Canadian Mint produces the coins. The circulation of the 50¢ is lower than the other coins; it is estimated that for every one 50¢ coin produced, 142 25¢-coins are produced. There is a similarity between the Canadian coinage currency and the American coinage particularly those below 50¢ regarding size. Some U.S coins circulate in Canada at par while Canadian coins below 50¢ circulate in the US because of their similarities. Recent changes to the Canadian coins have distorted their acceptance by some American traders.

Canadian Banknotes

The British Army Bills were the first bank notes to be issued between 1813 and 1815. Chartered banks began issuing notes in the 1830s. In 1934 the Bank of Canada was established and took over the role of issuing noted from the Dominion of Canada. The first bank notes to be issued were in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $25, $50, $100, $500 and $1000. Since 1937, the banknotes have experienced significant changes in design, the most recent being in 2011. As opposed to earlier versions, the notes printed in 2011 were made of a polymer substrate rather than on cotton fiber. All banknotes are printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company. Today the Canadian banknotes are issued in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 denominations.

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