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Canadian Bank Notes




In the mid-80s, Canada radically redesigned its paper currency, giving it a modern, European look. A friend once commented "our money now looks like large postage stamps". While the fronts of the new bills were pleasing to the eye, and a nice break from the scroll-and-border design heavy bills of the '70s, they really fumbled the ball on the obverse side. They ditched impressive Canadian vistas for birds. Stupid birds. Great countries are not built by sitting around all day admiring birds that eat ticks off the back of deer. In the '80s they also got rid of the one dollar bill and replaced it with the Loonie. Soon after they got rid of the two dollar bill and replaced it with the Toonie. There's been some talk of replacing the five dollar bill with a coin.. which I guess might be called the Sankie ("cinq" + "ie" ... cinq means five in french and that would sound a bit like "sank" so maybe you'd called it a Sankie).


Anyway, here's the last complete series of bills, from $1-$100.


$1 (issued 1973)

Color: Green

Front: Queen Elizabeth II

Back: Boats pushing logs on the Ottawa river. Parliament Hill is in the background.


$2 (issued 1974)

Color: Terra cotta

Front: Queen Elizabeth II

Back: Inuit on Banff Island stabbing things to death .


$3 (issued 1999)

Color: Maple Leaf Blue

Front: The guy from the I Am Canadian Commercial

Back: Men fighting in a parking lot outside of sports bar, women in short dresses crying in the background.


$5 (issued 1972)

Color: Blue

Front: Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Back: Salmon trawler off the coast of Vancouver Island.


$10 (issued 1971)

Color: Purple

Front: Sir John A. Macdonald

Back: Sarnia, Ontario oil refinery


$20 (issued 1969)

Color: Green

Front: Queen Elizabeth II

Back: Mountains and Moraine Lake, Alberta


$50 (issued 1975)

Color: Red

Front: William Lyon Mackenzie King

Back: Royal Canadian Mounted Police during a Musical Ride


$100 (issued 1975)

Color: Brown

Front: Sir Robert Borden

Back: Tall ships docked in Lunenburg Harbour, Nova Scotia (odd because few people in Nova Scotia wouldn't have more than four dollars in their wallet)


-- Karl Mamer





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