The Canadian dollar is the currency of Canada. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or sometimes Can$ or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents.

Canadian currency comes as paper money (bills or banknotes) and coins.

Canada’s dollar is the fifth most held reserve currency in the world, accounting for approximately 2 per cent of all global reserves, behind only the U.S. dollar, the euro, the yen and the pound sterling.

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.

Bills are printed in $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 denominations, and coins are made in 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢ (rarely used for everyday currency), $1 and $2 amounts.

As shown above, Canada’s paper money, or bills, comes in denominations of

  • $5,
  • $10,
  • $20,
  • $50, and
  • $100.

The $500 bill was in circulation until 1935 and the $1000 bill was withdrawn in 1987. These two banknotes can still be cashed at Canadian banks, but they are not worth much.

The relatively new polymer bank notes, issued in 2011–13 by the Canadian Mint, are highly secure, durable, innovative and the designs celebrate Canada’s achievements at home, around the world and in space.

Canada’s coins come in the following denominations – from right to left above and in increasing value:

  • one cent, or penny,
  • five cents, or nickel,
  • ten cents, or dime,
  • twenty five cents, or quarter,
  • dollar (one hundred cents), or loonie, and
  • two dollars (two hundred cents), or toonie.

Owing to the image of a loon on the one-dollar coin, the currency is sometimes referred to as the loonie by foreign exchange traders and analysts, as it is by Canadians in general, or huard in French.

Although the Canadian Mint stopped making the penny coin in 2013, the cent remains Canada’s smallest unit for pricing goods and services. This has no real impact on payments made by cheque or electronic transactions — only cash transactions are affected.

Moreover, while pennies are no longer legal tender at financial institutions, they can be used in cash transactions indefinitely with businesses that choose to accept them, although such transactions are becoming increasingly less frequent.

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