Currency

The Bank of Canada is the country’s sole authority for issuing bank notes, responsible for the design, production and distribution of Canada’s bank notes.

Canadian bank notes

The Bank of Canada is responsible for supplying Canadians with bank notes that they can use with confidence. The Bank’s currency strategy rests on four pillars:

  • developing bank notes that are difficult to counterfeit and easy to authenticate
  • increasing the routine verification of bank notes by retailers and the public
  • promoting the deterrence of counterfeiting in partnership with law-enforcement agencies and prosecutors
  • focusing on quality throughout the life cycle of a bank note-from production to efficient distribution to destruction and replacement

Design and production

It can take several years to design a series of bank notes, and once the design has been approved, the Bank contracts the printing to a security-cleared private sector printing company. The bank notes are printed 45 to a sheet, cut and delivered to the Bank.

Distribution

The Bank supplies financial institutions with the notes they need to satisfy public demand through the country's Bank Note Distribution System. The same distribution system is used to return the bank notes that are considered unfit for further circulation. These notes are inspected on high-speed, note-processing equipment and then shredded. All the notes from Canada’s new polymer series will be recycled once they are no longer fit for circulation.

Regional offices

The Bank of Canada maintains regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montréal and Halifax. As part of their mandate, the regional offices serve as contact points for Canadians requiring assistance to access services offered by the Bank. Among the range of services offered is the delivery of currency education programs to law enforcement, financial institutions and retailers.

Research and reference material

Browse and filter Bank of Canada articles, research papers and publications on bank notes and our research on e-money.