The Canadian dollar is the official currency of Canada. First introduced in 1858, since that moment all accounting is made in the national currency.


Origins and history

Canada decided to start using the dollar instead of the sterling pound due to the dissemination of the so-called Spanish dollar or peso in North America during the XVIII century and the early XIX, and also due to the standardisation of American dollar. The region of Québec was a real advocate for the use of the dollar (the Bank of Montreal issued banknotes in dollars in 1817), while the Atlantic colonies which had stronger links with the United Kingdom, were not so in favour.  

The province of Canada stated that all accounts would be made in dollars from January 1858 and ordered the issue of the first official Canadian dollars in that same year. The colonies, which would join the Canadian Confederation soon, gradually adopted a decimal system in the following years.  

Finally, the government approved the Uniform Currency Act in April 1871 to replace the currencies of the different provinces under one single Canadian dollar for all of them. The golden standard was officially abolished on the 10th April 1933.

Current Canadian dollar coins and banknotes

Today, we have banknotes of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars.

Billetes del dólar canadiense

Regarding coins, there are 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent, and 1 and 2 dollars. 

Interesting facts:

  • The Central Bank of Canada was founded in 1934.
  • The currencies of 1 Canadian dollar are nicknamed loonies, from the name of the aquatic bird appearing on the reverse. Also, this name is often used referred to the monetary unit, in general.
  • The 2-dollar coins, featuring a polar bear are called twonies or toonies, based on the the word loonie and the word two.

Symbol:

C$

ISO:

CAD

Date of creation:

1858

Authority:

Bank of Canadá

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