Canadian Currency: All you Need to Know about CAD

07 Jul 2022 - Category: Blog /

Canada is the second-largest country in the world in terms of area, with a vast and varied terrain and many fascinating cities and spaces to explore. The varied landscape attracts people from all walks of life and is often considered one of the most desired countries people want to move to. The Canadian economy is often closely linked with the USA, but it does have its own standing in the world and, of course, its independence.

If you plan to explore Canada and travel around its ten provinces, then it makes sense to learn more about the currency you’ll be spending. Here we’ve got all you need to know about the Canadian currency.

Below you’ll learn about:

  • Canada’s currency: the Canadian dollar
  • How the Canadian dollar is recognized
  • The history of the Canadian dollar
  • Exchange rates
  • How to send money to Canada

Canada’s currency: the Canadian dollar

The local currency in Canada is the Canadian dollar. Like many other regions, Canada has accepted the common term “dollar” for its money, and the Canadian dollar is produced and monitored by the Bank of Canada.

The Canadian dollar has been impacted, like many other currencies, by the impact of COVID-19 and also the political stance of its neighbours in the USA. It appears to be on the up in recent months as Coronavirus restrictions continue to abate and a sense of normality returns.

How is the Canadian dollar recognized?

The Canadian dollar is recognized by the international currency code CAD and the Canadian currency symbol $. A Canadian dollar splits into 100 cents.

There are five Canadian bank notes in circulation, in the denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Canadian coins include the $2 known as the Toonie, the $1 known as the Loonie and further coins in denominations of 25 cents (quarter), 10 cents (dime), and 5 cents (nickel) and penny (one cent). The penny was abolished in 2013.

The history of the Canadian dollar

The first Canadian dime came into circulation in the 19th century, followed quickly by the first quarter. The Canadian Royal Mint issued the first Canadian-minted coins in 1908. It wasn’t until 1987 that the Mint produced its first “Loonies”, and then “Toonies” arrived in 1996, replacing the $1 and $2 bills. Canadian bills used to include $500 and $1000, but these were phased out over time as the currency’s value fluctuated.

The Canadian dollar today

The Canadian dollar has evolved much like many other currencies, in design at least. Its current banknotes are brightly colored and differ in size and design to minimise the risk of fraud and counterfeiting. The Bank of Canada began issuing polymer money in 2011, beginning with the $100 and $50, then moving on to the $20, $10 and $5.

Like most currencies, Canadian bank notes feature notable people from their history, including Queen Elizabeth II, who appears on the $20 note, Viola Desmond on the current $10 note, and Wilfrid Laurier on the $5 note. Notably, the new $10 note featuring Viola Desmond has an unusual vertical orientation, with other notes expected to follow suit in coming years. This note is also important as it is the first to feature an African-Canadian figure from history.

Canadian Currency Exchange Rates

The Canadian currency exchange rate is something to keep an eye on if you plan to travel in Canada or regularly send money back to friends or family in the region. Most notably, it is worth monitoring how the Canadian dollar performs compared to its neighbour, the US dollar. While the Canadian dollar is usually worth less than the US, it reached a high of $1.08 in 2007. The lowest exchange rate on record was in 2002 when the 1 CAD equaled 0.62 USD. Taking time to convert Canadian currency to US currency gives you an indication of the health of the CAD at any given time.

In 2022, the average exchange rate between the Canadian dollar and US dollar is around 1 CAD to 0.77 USD. This shows that the Canadian dollar is performing moderately, somewhere between its highest and lowest peaks. It is also worth looking at the exchange rate between the Canadian dollar and other leading world currencies, such as the Japanese Yen, where 1 CAD is around 106 JPY. As Canada is also still a Commonwealth State, and Queen Elizabeth II does feature on one of their banknotes, the exchange rate between the Canadian dollar and the British pound is also interesting. In 2022, the average exchange between these currencies is around 1 CAB to 0.63 GBP.

How to send money to Canada

Sending money to Canada is simple when you utilise Small World’s money transfer service. Small World ensures you can quickly and easily send funds to Canada without any issue or delay.

You can send money with Small World to Canada using our Cash Pickup service.

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