Bank of Canada reveals new polymer banknotes

OTTAWA [PeterPaul.ca] – The Bank of Canada announced this week it would stop production of paper money and complete a two-year transition in November 2013 when new $5 and $10 polymer bank notes are unveiled —making plastic money the new standard across the country.

The new notes feature leading-edge security features and innovation never before seen in a Canadian bank note series like hidden numbers, metallic imagery and a see-through window.

In addition to the security provided by the clear “windows” used in most polymer notes to capitalize on the substrate’s transparency, notes in the Polymer series are the first to have a stripe of holographic foil,” a Bank of Canada news release said.

“The images on the foil, which is placed in a large vertical window, are large, brilliant and complex and the details and colours can be seen clearly from both sides of the note.”

The new plastic bills [$20, $50 and $100s] have been in circulation since 2011 and since then there have been more than 10,000 fewer counterfeit bills passed, RCMP numbers say. The $20 bill was the most counterfeited with 30,672 passed bills in 2012.

The old, cotton-based paper notes, known as the Canadian Journey series, will still be around for a few more years and set the trends for the new polymer notes with never before seen enhanced security features and world-class designs.


Following are some keys facts about Canada’s new bank notes:

$5, November 2013:

→ The new $5 note will feature a sharp image of Canadarm2 and Dextre—Canada’s robotic contribution to the International Space Station with Canadarm2 being the centerpiece.

→ “The astronaut depicted on the $5 note represents all Canadians who have contributed to the space program and the scientific research conducted on board the International Space Station.”

$10, November 2013:

→ The $10 note will feature the Canadian train symbolizing the engineering feat of joining Canada by rail beginning in 1871.

→ The new bill will also feature The Canadian Rockies and a map of VIA Rail’s passenger network.

$20, Already in circulation:

→ The $20 note features the Canadian Vimy Ridge Memorial designed by Canadian designer Walter Seymour Allward.

→ “Mourning the death of a friend, Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae wrote “In Flanders Fields,” the now-famous poem that reflects on the living presence of poppies in a landscape devastated by war.”

$50, Already in circulation:

→ The $50 note will feature the reasearch icebreaker CCGS Amundsen, syllabic text taken from Inukitut—the native language of Canada’s Inuits—and a map of Canada’s northern regions.

$100, Already in circulation:

→ The $100 note will feature primarily Canadian contributions to medicine with references to a researcher at a microscope, a DNA strand, an electrocardiogram, and Insulin which was founded by Canadian researchers Frederick Banting and Charles Best in 1921.

Review past Canadian bank note sets here.

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