What Type of Money Is Used in Canada?


The currency used in Canada is the Canadian dollar, usually abbreviated as C$, or simply $.


In 1841, Canada adopted a currency based on the Halifax rating, the Canadian pound. Canadian citizens under the supervision of the British Empire were eager to convert to a decimal system to better suit their trading with Americans. In 1871, the Canadian Parliament unified the decimal based currencies of the various provinces with the Canadian dollar.


Canadian currency comes in the form of paper banknotes and coins, including the Canadian dollar coin, also known as the “Loonie.”


The latest series of Canadian banknotes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. The bills come in an array of colors and feature Sir Wilfred Laurier, Queen Elizabeth II, and Sir Robert Borden, among others.

Exchange Rate

The exchange rate with the U.S. dollar for most of the 20th century was at about one to one. Today, the Canadian dollar stays in this general area, sometimes dipping slightly under or over the U.S. dollar.

$2 Coin

The two-dollar coin, often called the “Toonie,” was introduced in 1996.

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