"C$" redirects here.
For the currency with the symbol C$, see Nicaraguan córdoba.
For other uses, see C$ (disambiguation).
(in English) and sou (colloquial) (in French)
|Symbol||$, Can$, C$, CA$ or CAD|
|Nickname||Loonie, buck (in English)
Huard, piastre (pronounced piasse in popular usage) (in French)
|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)|
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.
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.
Main article: History of the Canadian dollar
The 1850s in Canada were a decade of debate over whether to adopt a sterling monetary system or a decimal monetary system based on the US dollar.
The British North American provinces, for reasons of practicality in relation to the increasing trade with the neighbouring United States, had a desire to assimilate their currencies with the American unit, but the imperial authorities in London still preferred sterling as the sole currency throughout the British Empire.
The British North American provinces nonetheless gradually adopted currencies tied to the American dollar.
|Currency||Dates in use||Value in British pounds||Value in Canadian dollars|
|Canadian pound||1841–1858||16s 5.3d||$4|
|Canadian dollar||1858–present||4s 1.3d||$1|
|New Brunswick dollar||1860–1867|
|British Columbia dollar||1865–1871|
|Prince Edward Island dollar||1871–1873|
|Nova Scotian dollar||1860–1871||4s||$0.973|
|Newfoundland dollar||1865–1895||4s 2d||$1.014|
Province of Canada
Thus, the new Canadian pound was worth 16 shillings and 5.3 pence sterling.
In 1851, the Parliament of the Province of Canada passed an act for the purposes of introducing a pound sterling unit in conjunction with decimal fractional coinage.
The idea was that the decimal coins would correspond to exact amounts in relation to the U.S. dollar fractional coinage.
In response to British concerns, in 1853, an act of the Parliament of the Province of Canada introduced the gold standard into the colony, based on both the British gold sovereign and the American gold eagle coins.
This gold standard was introduced with the gold sovereign being legal tender at £1 = US$4.86 ⁄3.
No coinage was provided for under the 1853 act.
Sterling coinage was made legal tender and all other silver coins were demonetized.
The British government in principle allowed for a decimal coinage but nevertheless held out the hope that a sterling unit would be chosen under the name of "royal".
However, in 1857, the decision was made to introduce a decimal coinage into the Province of Canada in conjunction with the U.S. dollar unit.
Hence, when the new decimal coins were introduced in 1858, the colony's currency became aligned with the U.S. currency, although the British gold sovereign continued to remain legal tender at the rate of £1 = 4.86 ⁄3 right up until the 1990s.
In 1859, Canadian colonial postage stamps were issued with decimal denominations for the first time.
In 1861, Canadian postage stamps were issued with the denominations shown in dollars and cents.
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
Newfoundland went decimal in 1865, but unlike the Province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, it decided to adopt a unit based on the Spanish dollar rather than on the U.S. dollar, and there was a slight difference between these two units.
The U.S. dollar was created in 1792 on the basis of the average weight of a selection of worn Spanish dollars.
As such, the Spanish dollar was worth slightly more than the U.S. dollar, and likewise, the Newfoundland dollar, until 1895, was worth slightly more than the Canadian dollar.
When British Columbia joined Confederation in 1871, the Canadian dollar replaced the British Columbia dollar.
Prince Edward Island
In 1871, Prince Edward Island went decimal within the U.S. dollar unit and introduced coins for 1¢.
However, the currency of Prince Edward Island was absorbed into the Canadian system shortly afterwards, when Prince Edward Island joined the Dominion of Canada in 1873.
In 1867, the provinces of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia united in a federation named Canada and the three currencies were merged into the Canadian dollar.
The Canadian Parliament passed the Uniform Currency Act in April 1871, tying up loose ends as to the currencies of the various provinces and replacing them with a common Canadian dollar.
Evolution in the 20th century
The gold standard was temporarily abandoned during the First World War and definitively abolished on April 10, 1933.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, the exchange rate to the U.S. dollar was fixed at CA$1.10 = US$1.00.
This was changed to parity in 1946.
In 1949, the pound sterling was devalued and Canada followed, returning to a peg of CA$1.10 = US$1.00.
However, Canada allowed its dollar to float in 1950, whereupon the currency rose to a slight premium over the U.S. dollar for the next decade.
But the Canadian dollar fell sharply after 1960 before it was again pegged in 1962 at CA$1.00 = US$0.925.
This was sometimes pejoratively referred to as the "Diefenbuck" or the "Diefendollar", after the then Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker.
This peg lasted until 1970, with the currency's value being floated since then.
Because of the appearance of the common loon on the back of the $1 coin that replaced the dollar bill in 1987, the word "loonie" was adopted in Canadian parlance to distinguish the Canadian dollar coin from the dollar bill.
When the two-dollar coin was introduced in 1996, the derivative word "toonie" ("two loonies") became the common word for it in Canadian English slang.
In French, the currency is also called le dollar; Canadian French slang terms include piastre or piasse (the original word used in 18th-century French to translate "dollar") and huard (equivalent to "loonie", since huard is French for "loon," the bird appearing on the coin).
The French pronunciation of cent (pronounced similarly to English as /sɛnt/ or /sɛn/, not like the word for hundred, /sɑ̃/ or /sã/) is generally used for the subdivision; sou is another, informal, term for 1¢.
25¢ coins in Quebec French are often called trente sous ("thirty cents") because of a series of changes in terminology, currencies, and exchange rates.
Spanish dollars and U.S. dollars were also in use, and from 1841 to 1858, the exchange rate was fixed at $4 = £1 (or 400¢ = 240d).
This made 25¢ equal to 15d, or 30 halfpence (trente sous).
After decimalization and the withdrawal of halfpence coins, the nickname sou began to be used for the 1¢ coin, but the idiom trente sous for 25¢ endured.
Main article: Coins of the Canadian dollar
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.
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.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian dollar.