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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 The $1 and $2 bills have been replaced by coins.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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6 Ottawa 1973 Canadian Dollar Notes
Feb 26, 5:00 PM EST
6 Ottawa 1973 Canadian Dollar Notes
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Est: $1- $5,000
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1967 Ottawa Canada $1 Bank Note, high grade
Feb 27, 5:00 PM EST
1967 Ottawa Canada $1 Bank Note, high grade
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Est: $1- $5,000
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1967 Ottawa Canada $1 Bank Note. CRISP UNC!
Feb 27, 5:00 PM EST
1967 Ottawa Canada $1 Bank Note. CRISP UNC!
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Est: $1- $5,000
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3X 20 DOLLAR, CANADA, 1979 UND 1991
Mar 01, 11:00 AM CET
3X 20 DOLLAR, CANADA, 1979 UND 1991
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Est: €0- €0
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1923 Canadian 25 Cent Banknote
Mar 02, 7:00 PM EST
1923 Canadian 25 Cent Banknote
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Est: $0- $0
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LOT OF 2 1986 CANADA $2 TWO DOLLAR BANKNOTES
Mar 19, 9:00 PM EDT
LOT OF 2 1986 CANADA $2 TWO DOLLAR BANKNOTES
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1954-1967 Canada $1 Bank Notes (5 Items)
Mar 13, 5:00 PM CDT
1954-1967 Canada $1 Bank Notes (5 Items)
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Est: $10- $10,000
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1914 Canada Gold $10 NGC MS63 Bank of Canada Hoard
Apr 06, 10:00 AM CDT
1914 Canada Gold $10 NGC MS63 Bank of Canada Hoard
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Est: $955- $10,000
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1986 Canada $2 Notes (20 Items)
Mar 06, 5:00 PM CST
1986 Canada $2 Notes (20 Items)
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Est: $35- $10,000
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1973 Canada $1 Legal Tender Notes (20 Items)
Mar 06, 5:00 PM CST
1973 Canada $1 Legal Tender Notes (20 Items)
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Est: $20- $10,000
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DuraNote, ND (ca.1980), Polymer Test Note
Mar 06, 11:00 AM EST
DuraNote, ND (ca.1980), Polymer Test Note
by Archives International Auctions, LLC
Est: $75- $150
$100 Bids
1954 Modified Hair Issue Canada $1 Banknote P# 75b, Sig. Beattie & Rasminsky Grades vf+
Feb 26, 10:00 AM EST
1954 Modified Hair Issue Canada $1 Banknote P# 75b, Sig. Beattie & Rasminsky Grades vf+
by Key Date Coins
Est: $25- $100
$50 Bids
1967 Canada $1 Centennial Issue Banknote P# 84a Grades
Feb 26, 10:00 AM EST
1967 Canada $1 Centennial Issue Banknote P# 84a Grades
by Key Date Coins
Est: $25- $100
$50 Bids
1967 Centennial Issue Canada 1 Dollar Banknote P# 84a Grades Gem CU
Feb 26, 10:00 AM EST
1967 Centennial Issue Canada 1 Dollar Banknote P# 84a Grades Gem CU
by Key Date Coins
Est: $25- $100
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1967 Centennial Issue Canada $1 Banknote P# 84b Grades vf+
Feb 27, 10:00 AM EST
1967 Centennial Issue Canada $1 Banknote P# 84b Grades vf+
by Key Date Coins
Est: $25- $100
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1954 Canada $1 Banknote Grades vf+
Feb 27, 10:00 AM EST
1954 Canada $1 Banknote Grades vf+
by Key Date Coins
Est: $25- $100
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1967 Centennial Issue Canada 1 Dollar Banknote P# 84b Grades Choice AU/BU Slider
Feb 27, 10:00 AM EST
1967 Centennial Issue Canada 1 Dollar Banknote P# 84b Grades Choice AU/BU Slider
by Key Date Coins
Est: $25- $100
$50 Bids
1986-1991 Canada 2 Dollars Banknote P# 94b, Sig. Thiessen & Crow Grades Select CU
Feb 26, 10:00 AM EST
1986-1991 Canada 2 Dollars Banknote P# 94b, Sig. Thiessen & Crow Grades Select CU
by Key Date Coins
Est: $25- $100
$50 Bids
1967 Canada $1 Centennial Issue Banknote P# 84a Grades vf+
Feb 26, 10:00 AM EST
1967 Canada $1 Centennial Issue Banknote P# 84a Grades vf+
by Key Date Coins
Est: $25- $100
$50 Bids
1967 Canada $1 Centennial Issue Banknote P# 84a Grades Gem+ CU
Feb 26, 10:00 AM EST
1967 Canada $1 Centennial Issue Banknote P# 84a Grades Gem+ CU
by Key Date Coins
Est: $25- $100
$50 Bids
1969-1975 Canada 10 Dollars Banknote P# 88c, Sig. Lawson & Bouey Grades vf++
Feb 26, 10:00 AM EST
1969-1975 Canada 10 Dollars Banknote P# 88c, Sig. Lawson & Bouey Grades vf++
by Key Date Coins
Est: $25- $100
$200 Bids
1986 Canada 5 Dollars Bankote P: 95B Grades vf+
Feb 27, 10:00 AM EST
1986 Canada 5 Dollars Bankote P: 95B Grades vf+
by Key Date Coins
Est: $25- $100
$150 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Canadian Paper Money


Key Date Coins

Key Date Coins

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Gold Standard Auctions

Gold Standard Auctions

Archives International Auctions, LLC

Archives International Auctions, LLC