Fun Facts About Canadian Money

Happy Canada Day! We’re celebrating our beautiful country’s 153rd with a few fun facts about our Canadian coins and bills. Cheers! 

The Loonie

Canada’s $1 coin wasn’t always called the “loonie”. The term was popularized by Canadians as a nickname. It has since become synonymous with the coin. So much so, that the Royal Canadian Mint trademarked the name in 2006.


“Toonie” is a portmanteau word combining the word ‘two’ with the word ‘loonie’. The Royal Canadian Mint also trademarked this word for the $2 coin which features a polar bear. 

Viola Desmond

In 2016, the Federal Government announced an initiative to feature more notable Canadian women on Canada’s banknotes. The public was called on to nominate potential candidates and a committee was assembled to create a shortlist. Ultimately, Viola Desmond, a Black civil rights activist from Nova Scotia, was chosen to be featured on a vertical $10 bill. The International Bank Note Society announced the Desmond bill as the Bank Note of the Year for 2018.

Anti-counterfeit party trick

Our money may look like it belongs to a classic board game but, it’s actually pretty high tech. One of the coolest anti-counterfeit features is so crazy you have to see it to believe it. Next time you find yourself with a Canadian banknote and a laser pointer, shine it through the translucent maple leaf icon and you’ll see the value of the bill projected. 


Why so colourful?

You might be wondering why Canadian banknotes are so colourful. There are a number of very practical reasons for this. Firstly, it’s easier to tell the different banknotes apart when you’re shuffling around in your wallet. It’s also easier for ABM machines to tell the different banknotes apart. Additionally, the colourful designs make the bills much more difficult to counterfeit. 

Finally, the different colours make it easier for those with visual impairments to select the correct bill. But, that’s not the only accessibility feature of Canadian banknotes. Each bill has a series of dots in the top right corner that allow people who are blind to use physical bills with relative ease. 

Environmentally Friendly Money

We love that Canada’s plastic bills were designed and created with sustainability in mind. An assessment commissioned by the Bank of Canada determined that, over their entire life cycle, polymer bills are responsible for 32% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and 30% reduction in energy needs when compared to paper bills.

New Shoes on Budget Day

Our final Canadian money fact is perhaps the most strange one of all. In a tradition, whose origins are unknown, Canadian finance ministers often purchase and wear new shoes on the day that the budget is delivered to parliament. 

As a financial coaching company, we’re not sure we condone purchasing new shoes for pretty much no reason. But, we do love our quirky Canadian ways and our colourful monopoly money.  

Happy Canada D’eh! 


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