The Bank of Canada has announced the entry into circulation of the new $5 and $10 polymer bank notes. Starting today, these final two notes in the new polymer Frontiers series will be available at financial institutions across Canada.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen S. Poloz launched the $5 note at the Canadian Space Agency in Saint-Hubert, Quebec. He was joined by Chris Hadfield, retired Canadian astronaut and former Commander of the International Space Station. The $10 note was launched at an event held simultaneously at Vancouver’s train station by Senior Deputy Governor Tiff Macklem and VIA Rail Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Laliberté.

“With the introduction of the $5 and $10, we complete the rollout of a series that is at the frontier of bank note technology and sets a global benchmark for bank note security,” said Governor Poloz. “These leading-edge notes are not only hard to counterfeit, but they are also designed to be easy to check. All five denominations in the Frontiers series carry the same security features that help Canadians verify them with ease and ensure that counterfeiting levels in Canada remain very low.”

For the first time since the 1954 series, the Bank of Canada is issuing two notes on the same day. This helps manufacturers, owners and operators of bank note equipment upgrade their machines at a lower cost. The Bank of Canada has been working closely with Canada’s financial sector and the cash-handling industry since 2009 and throughout the launch of this series to support a successful transition to polymer notes.

“Not only are these notes safer, they are also cheaper and greener than the previous series,” said Senior Deputy Governor Macklem. “They last longer than paper notes, which will save millions of dollars, since fewer polymer notes will have to be printed. Fewer notes produced means fewer notes transported and this means a reduced impact on the Canadian environment. Plus, polymer notes will be recycled.”

Chris Hadfield spoke of the significance of featuring Canadian robotics innovations on the new $5 note. “The Canadarm2 and Dextre images on the $5 bank note remind me of the determination, ingenuity and dedication of so many people at the Canadian Space Agency, in the space industry and academia across the country. As Canadians use the new $5 note and see these space symbols, I know they will be reminded of these qualities,” he said.

Marc Laliberté added that VIA Rail is proud that the new $10 note features the Canadian train. “Today is the 128th anniversary of the driving of the last spike that completed the construction of Canada’s railway, and linked the country from sea to sea. So it is only fitting that this new $10 bank note should celebrate the pioneering spirit, and the true grit and determination of Canadians who helped unite our country, with the promise of an even better future.”

The themes of the denominations are:

$100 Medical Innovation - celebrates Canadian innovations in the field of medicine (Portrait: Sir Robert Borden)

$50 CCGS Amundsen, Research Icebreaker - reflects Canada’s commitment to Arctic research and the development and support of northern communities (Portrait: William Lyon Mackenzie King)

$20 The Canadian National Vimy Memorial - evokes the contributions and sacrifices of Canadians in conflicts throughout our history (Portrait: HM Queen Elizabeth II)

$10 The Canadian train - represents Canada’s great engineering feat of linking its eastern and western frontiers by what was, at the time, the longest railway ever built (Portrait: Sir John A. Macdonald)

$5 Canadarm2 and Dextre - symbolizes Canada’s continuing contribution to the international space station program through robotics innovation (Portrait: Sir Wilfrid Laurier)

More information on the new Frontiers series can be obtained by contacting Media Relations, 613 782-8782.