Ever wonder who is on Canadian money? Well, wonder no more! Here's a list of everyone who has graced our currency over the years. From prime ministers to scientists to royalty, there's a little bit of everything. So next time you're spending your loonies and toonies, take a closer look and see if you can spot any of these famous Canadians.
Who's on Canadian Money?
Nickel – Queen Elizabeth II and The Beaver
Queen Elizabeth II has been on the Canadian five-cent coin since 1953, making her the longest-reigning monarch ever to appear on a Canadian coin.
Her majesty joins the beaver on the five-cent coin. The beaver is the national animal of Canada. The beaver was chosen as the national animal because of its important role in Canadian history. For many years, the fur of the beaver was an important commodity in the Canadian economy. The beaver is also a symbol of hard work and determination.
Dime – Queen Elizabeth II and The Bluenose
Did you know that Queen Elizabeth and The Bluenose are featured on the Canadian dime?
The Bluenose was a famous Canadian schooner that was launched in 1921. She was designed by William J. Roué and built in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The Bluenose was the fastest and most graceful sailing vessel of her time. For seventeen years, she held the title of "Queen of the North Atlantic."
The Bluenose is considered an important part of Canadian history and culture, and it remains one of the most popular ships on the water today.
Quarter – Queen Elizabeth II and The Caribou
The Canadian quarter was first minted in 1870, and it has been in circulation ever since. The design of the Canadian quarter has changed over the years, but the caribou and Queen Elizabeth II have remained on the coin.
The Canadian quarter is currently made from steel and has nickel plating.
The design of the Canadian quarter is both beautiful and symbolic. The caribou represents the strength and resilience of the Canadian people, while the mountains and forests represent the country's vast and untouched wilderness.
Loonie – Queen Elizabeth II and The Loon
Did you know that Queen Elizabeth and a loon are featured on the Canadian dollar? The loon is a bird that is found in Canada, and it is also the official bird of the province of Ontario.
The Canadian dollar coin features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the front side and a picture of a loon on the backside.
The loon is a symbol of Canada, and it is also a popular bird to watch. Many people enjoy listening to the loon's call, which has been described as " haunting" and "eerie". Some people even say that the loon's call sounds like a human laughing!
Toonie- Queen Elizabeth II and The Polar Bear
It's no secret that Canada is home to some of the world's most majestic creatures. From the mighty moose to the playful beaver, our country is teeming with wildlife. But there's one Canadian animal that stands out above the rest: the polar bear.
Native to the Arctic region, polar bears are the largest land carnivores in the world. They're also one of the most iconic animals on the planet, thanks in part to their striking white fur.
In 1996, Queen Elizabeth and a polar bear were featured on the Canadian two-dollar coin, commonly known as the "Toonie".
The Toonie was introduced to improve the efficiency and security of the country's money. The new coin replaced the existing two-dollar bill, which was becoming increasingly expensive to produce.
The front of the coin features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which was designed by Canadian artist Dora de Pedery-Hunt. The reverse side features a polar bear walking on an ice floe, which was designed by Inuit artist Tim Pitsiulak.
Five Dollar Bill - Sir Wilfrid Laurier and The Canadarm2
The Canadian five-dollar bill features Sir Wilfrid Laurier on the front and the Canadarm2, Dextre, and Mobile Base on the back.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the seventh Prime Minister of Canada, serving from 1896 to 1911. He is the first francophone Prime Minister of Canada, and his government oversaw some of the most important events in Canadian history, including the Boer War, the creation of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Laurier was also an accomplished lawyer and politician.
The Canadarm2 is a robotic arm that is used on the International Space Station (ISS). It is operated by astronauts using a joystick or touchscreen. The Canadarm2 is used to move supplies and equipment around the ISS, as well as to assist in spacewalks.
Dextre is a two-armed robot that is connected to the Canadarm2. Dextre is used to repair and maintain the ISS. It has a toolbelt with over 28 different tools, including wrenches, sockets, and screwdrivers.
The Mobile Base is a moveable platform that is attached to the ISS. The Mobile Base is used to move supplies and equipment around the ISS. It can also be used as a workstation for astronauts during spacewalks.
Ten Dollar Bill - Viola Desmond and The Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Viola Desmond was a civil rights activist from Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1946, she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat in a movie theatre to a white person. This act of defiance helped start the desegregation movement in Nova Scotia.
The Viola Desmond story is now featured at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The museum is dedicated to telling stories of human rights violations from around the world.
The Canadian ten-dollar bill features a portrait of Viola Desmond on one side and the museum on the other. This bill was released in 2018 and is part of Canada's "Polymer" series of banknotes.
The Viola Desmond story is an important part of Canadian history, and the new ten-dollar bill is a great way to honor her memory.
Twenty Dollar Bill – Queen Elizabeth II and The National Vimy Memorial
On November 2nd 2012, 2017, the Bank of Canada released a new $20 banknote featuring a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the front and The National Vimy Memorial on the back.
Did you know that the Canadian National Vimy Memorial is a monument dedicated to the memory of all Canadian soldiers who died in the first world war? The monument is located on Vimy Ridge in France and was built to commemorate the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which took place during World War I. The battle was a turning point for Canada and helped to solidify the nation's reputation as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.
Fifty Dollar Bill - William Lyon Mackenzie King and A Map of Canada's North
Did you know that the William Lyon Mackenzie King and a map of Canada's North are both featured on the Canadian fifty-dollar bill?
So, who was William Lyon Mackenzie King? Well, he was the tenth Prime Minister of Canada, serving from 1921 to 1930 and then again from 1935 to 1948. He is also the longest-serving Prime Minister in Canadian history, having served for over 21 years!
King was born in Kitchener, Ontario (then known as Berlin) in 1874. He studied law at the University of Toronto and then worked as a civil servant in Ottawa before being elected to the House of Commons in 1908.
During his time as Prime Minister, King oversaw some of Canada's most momentous events, including the Great Depression and World War II. He was an important figure in Canadian history and his likeness on the fifty-dollar bill is a fitting tribute to his legacy.
One Hundred Dollar Bill- Robert Borden and a DNA Double Helix, and A Vial Of Insulin
Robert Borden was the eighth Prime Minister of Canada, serving from 1911 to 1920. He was born in 1854 in Nova Scotia and studied law before being elected to the House of Commons in 1896. As Prime Minister, Borden led Canada through World War I, and was responsible for introducing conscription in 1917. After the war, Borden helped negotiate the Treaty of Versailles and also oversaw the creation of the League of Nations. He retired from politics in 1920 and died in 1937.
The bill also features a DNA double helix, and a vial of insulin. These represent some of Canada's most important medical achievements.
The discovery of the double helix structure of DNA was made by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. This discovery revolutionized our understanding of genetics and has led to countless medical breakthroughs.
Insulin was first isolated from pancreatic tissue in 1921 by Frederick Banting and Charles Best. Insulin is essential for the treatment of diabetes and has saved millions of lives worldwide.
The Canadian one-hundred-dollar bill is a reminder of the important role that Robert Borden played in our history, and of some of Canada's most significant medical achievements.
So, there you have it—a little bit of everything on Canadian money! Whether you’re looking to learn more about Canada’s history or just want to see if you can spot any of these famous Canadians, next time you’re spending your loonies and toonies, take a closer look. Do you have any tips or tricks? Let us know in the comments below!