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Canadian Paper Money

Although various treasury bills and privately-issued banknotes circulated in Canada, officially-issued Canadian paper money did not begin until the rise of the Canadian Dominion in 1867. The Dominion issued $1, $2, $4, $50, $100, $500, and $1,000 notes in a period between 1870 to 1882. This paper money was printed until 1934 when the printing of paper money was transferred to the Bank of Canada.

The Bank of Canada replaced Dominion denominations with $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $25, $50, $100, $500, and $1,000 bills. The $25 and $500 bills were dropped almost immediately and the $1,000 note was removed in 2000. The $1 and $2 bills have been replaced by coins. The $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills are still produced today.

Beginning in 2011, the Bank of Canada began transitioning remaining denominations into polymer materials. This polymer series features bright colors on each denomination. The Bank of Canada also issues commemorative notes, such as the Queen Elizabeth II $20 printed in 2015.


Quick Facts

  • In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Canada's currency shortage was so severe that colonists resorted to using specially-marked playing cards as currency
  • A three-of-a-kind $500 bill from 1911 sold for $322,000 at auction in 2008. The note featured Queen Mary, which was an unusual breach of tradition given that Canadian currency typically features the reigning monarch
  • Private banks, such as Molsons Bank of Montreal, sometimes issued strange denominations such as $6 or $7 bills in the late 19th century. This allowed them to ignore the official Canadian $1 and $2 notes

Recommended Items at Auction

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(4) 1954 CANADA BANK NOTES
Oct 04, 5:00 PM EDT
(4) 1954 CANADA BANK NOTES
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$73 Bids
Graded 1900 Dominion Of Canada 25 Cents DC-15b, Boville *20 Very Fine*
Oct 04, 10:00 PM EDT
Graded 1900 Dominion Of Canada 25 Cents DC-15b, Boville *20 Very Fine*
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $1,000- $1,200
$7500 Bids
Graded 1900 Dominion Of Canada 25 Cents DC-15b, Boville *20 Very Fine*
Oct 05, 10:00 PM EDT
Graded 1900 Dominion Of Canada 25 Cents DC-15b, Boville *20 Very Fine*
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $1,000- $1,200
$7500 Bids
1857 BANK of UPPER CANADA 1/2 CENT & CENT
Oct 06, 11:00 AM EDT
1857 BANK of UPPER CANADA 1/2 CENT & CENT
by Vintage Auctions Online
Est: $20- $40
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Canadian Paper Money


Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Vintage Auctions Online

Vintage Auctions Online