The Bank of Canada today announced that it will begin circulating a new $100 polymer bank note in November 2011, with a polymer $50 note to follow in March 2012. The Bank also provided further technical and background information about the new bank notes. More details on the security features, themes and designs of these denominations will be unveiled in the spring of 2011. The remaining denominations – the $20 note, followed by the $10 and $5 notes – will be unveiled and issued by the end of 2013.

With the introduction of the polymer bank note series, the Bank's main focus continues to be security. "Canada's new bank notes will have innovative security features that are easy to verify," said Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada. "The leading-edge technology in these notes will expand the frontiers of bank note security."

In addition to enhancing security, the new bank note series will be easier to verify, more economical and have a reduced environmental impact. The Bank of Canada evaluated a number of options before deciding on a new suite of security features and on the use of polymer material – which is expected to last at least 2.5 times longer than the current cotton-paper bills.

To prepare for the new notes, the Bank is working closely with financial institutions and manufacturers of bank note equipment to ensure a smooth transition to polymer. Law-enforcement agencies and retailers will also be important partners as the Bank introduces the polymer series. "With these new notes, the Bank of Canada will provide Canadians with a durable, high-quality, secure form of payment that they can use with confidence," added Governor Carney.

More information on the new polymer bank note series can be found in the attached backgrounder.