Canadian dollar facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsCanadian dollar
|Canadian dollar (English)
dollar canadien (French)
2011 Frontier series (polymer notes)
and sou (colloquial in French)
|Symbol||$, Can$, C$, CA$ or CAD|
Huard, piastre (pronounced piasse in popular usage)
|Banknotes||$5, $10, $20, $50, $100|
|Freq. used||5¢, 10¢, 25¢, $1, $2|
|Rarely used||1¢, 50¢|
|Unofficial user(s)||Saint Pierre and Miquelon|
|Central bank||Bank of Canada|
|Printer||Canadian Bank Note Company|
|Mint||Royal Canadian Mint|
|Inflation||1.9% (July 2018)|
|Source||Statistics Canada, 2018.|
The Canadian dollar (symbol: $; code: CAD; French: dollar canadien) is the currency of Canada. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or sometimes CA$, Can$ or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents (¢).
Owing to the image of a loon on its back, the dollar coin, and sometimes the unit of currency itself, are sometimes referred to as the loonie by English-speaking Canadians and foreign exchange traders and analysts.
Accounting for approximately 2% of all global reserves, the Canadian dollar is the fifth-most held reserve currency in the world, behind the U.S. dollar, the euro, the yen and the pound sterling. The Canadian dollar is popular with central banks because of Canada's relative economic soundness, the Canadian government's strong sovereign position, and the stability of the country's legal and political systems.
Coins are produced by the Royal Canadian Mint's facilities in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Ottawa, Ontario, in denominations of 5¢ (nickel), 10¢ (dime), 25¢ (quarter), 50¢ (50¢ piece) (though the 50¢ piece is no longer distributed to banks and is only available directly from the mint, therefore seeing very little circulation), $1 (loonie), and $2 (toonie). The last 1¢ coin (penny) to be minted in Canada was struck on May 4, 2012, and distribution of the penny ceased on February 4, 2013. Ever since, the price for a cash transaction is rounded to the nearest five cents. The penny continues to be legal tender, although they are only accepted as payment and not given back as change.
The standard set of designs has Canadian symbols, usually wildlife, on the reverse, and an effigy of Elizabeth II on the obverse. Some pennies, nickels, and dimes remain in circulation that bear the effigy of George VI. It is also common for American coins to be found among circulation due to the close proximity to the United States and the fact that the sizes of the coins are similar. Commemorative coins with differing reverses are also issued on an irregular basis, most often quarters. 50¢ coins are rarely found in circulation; they are often collected and not regularly used in day-to-day transactions in most provinces.
In 1858, bronze 1¢ and 0.925 silver 5¢, 10¢ and 20¢ coins were issued by the Province of Canada. Except for 1¢ coins struck in 1859, no more coins were issued until 1870, when production of the 5¢ and 10¢ was resumed and silver 25¢ and 50¢ were introduced. Between 1908 and 1919, sovereigns (legal tender in Canada for $4.86 2⁄3) were struck in Ottawa with a "C" mintmark.
Canada produced its first gold dollar coins in 1912 in the form of $5 and $10. These coins were produced from 1912 to 1914. The obverse carries an image of King George V and on the reverse is a shield with the arms of the Dominion of Canada. Gold from the Klondike River valley in the Yukon accounts for much of the gold in the coins.
Two years into the coin's production World War I began and production of the coins stopped in favour of tighter control over Canadian gold reserves. Most of the 1914 coins produced never reached circulation at the time and some were stored for more than 75 years until being sold off in 2012. The high quality specimens were sold to the public and the visually unappealing ones were melted.
In 1920, the size of the 1¢ was reduced and the silver fineness of the 5¢, 10¢, 25¢ and 50¢ coins was reduced to 0.800 silver/.200 copper. This composition was maintained for the 10¢, 25¢ and 50¢ piece through 1966, but the debasement of the 5¢ piece continued in 1922 with the silver 5¢ being entirely replaced by a larger nickel coin. In 1942, as a wartime measure, nickel was replaced by tombac in the 5¢ coin, which was changed in shape from round to dodecagonal. Chromium-plated steel was used for the 5¢ in 1944 and 1945 and between 1951 and 1954, after which nickel was readopted. The 5¢ returned to a round shape in 1963.
In 1935, the 0.800 silver voyageur dollar was introduced. Production was maintained through 1967 with the exception of the war years between 1939 and 1945.
In 1967 both 0.800 silver/0.200 copper and, later that year, 0.500 silver/.500 copper 10¢ and 25¢ coins were issued. 1968 saw further debasement: the 0.500 fine silver dimes and quarters were completely replaced by nickel ones mid-year. All 1968 50¢ and $1 coins were reduced in size and coined only in pure nickel. Thus, 1968 marked the last year in which any circulating silver coinage was issued in Canada.
In 1982, the 1¢ coin was changed to dodecagonal, and the 5¢ was further debased to a cupro-nickel alloy. In 1987 a $1 coin struck in aureate-plated nickel was introduced. A bimetallic $2 coin followed in 1996. In 1997, copper-plated zinc replaced bronze in the 1¢, and it returned to a round shape. This was followed, in 2000, by the introduction of even cheaper plated-steel 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢ and 50¢ coins, with the 1¢ plated in copper and the others plated in cupro-nickel. In 2012, the multi-ply plated-steel technology was introduced for $1 and $2 coins as well. Also in that year mintage of the 1¢ coin ceased and its withdrawal from circulation began in 2013.
Canadian dollar Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.