Why does Canada use coins

The Canadian currency - the Canadian dollar

Sea, mountains, forests and lakes - this is what Canada is famous for. The second largest country in the world has the longest coastline in the world, provinces where hardly any people live and 563 lakes alone. This makes Canada a popular holiday destination. But if you travel to Canada, you of course need cash in the Canadian currency - here we present it: the Canadian dollar - which you can also change online in the ReiseBank travel money shop.

Motifs on the Canadian coins

It's a classic quiz question: Which countries have Queen Elizabeth II as head of state? As a parliamentary monarchy, Canada remains on this list. Consequently, the portrait of the British monarch adorns the face of the coins.

On the back, you can see animals that are typical of the country, such as the beaver, the caribou or a common loon, and the 1 cent coin is adorned with two maple leaves - the symbol of the country. And it is precisely the 1 cent coin that is gradually disappearing from the market: because the cost of the coin was 1.6 cents per piece, the production of new coins was stopped in April 2012.

Thematic series on banknotes

Queen Elizabeth II is also depicted on the front of the 20 dollar bill. The obverse of the rest of the dollar notes features former prime ministers of the country.

The back is decorated with changing motifs: different thematic series have been published since 1954. The 1986 series, for example, shows Canadian birds, while the 2001 series is officially entitled Canadareise. The latest series from 2011 illustrates innovations from Canada: for example the discovery of insulin by Canadian researchers or the exploration of the Arctic.

Since 2011, the banknotes, for the production of which the Bank of Canada is responsible, have been made of polymer plastic - this significantly reduces costs, as the plastic note has been in circulation two and a half times longer than its paper ancestor.

Another special feature of the Canadian banknotes is their bilingualism. Since both English and French are official languages, the labeling is done in both languages.

Like the eponymous cousin from the USA, the Canadian dollar bills are all the same size, but can be easily distinguished due to the clear color scheme. The 2 dollar bill was last printed in the 86 series; since 2001 only 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar bills have been produced.

The Canadian dollar is called a "buck"

Just like the US dollar, the Canadian currency is often colloquially referred to as "buck". The name probably goes back to the word "buckskin": billy goat leather used to be a widespread medium of exchange.

Often the one-dollar coin is also called "loonie" or "huard": The name refers to the common loon (English: loon, French: huard), which is depicted on the one-dollar coin. The two dollar coin, on the other hand, is nicknamed "toonie" because a polar bear can be seen on the reverse. If you want to use machines, you therefore need “loonies” and “toonies”.

Currency exchange and payment options

If you want to exchange money in Canada, you can do so at banks, officially recognized financial institutions and exchange offices. This is also possible in shops, hotels and restaurants, but you will usually change at a worse rate than in the financial institutions. Smaller banks are usually only open between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

International credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in Canada. To be able to withdraw money from ATMs in Canada, the card must have an Interac symbol. Cards with the Cirrus or Maestro symbol are accepted worldwide. Before traveling, you should find out about the fees for foreign withdrawals.

Exchange currencies online

It is recommended that travelers to Canada change Canadian dollars (CAD) in advance of their trip - for example in the ReiseBank travel money shop or in a local exchange office. Simply select the variety you want and order it online. Your travel money will then be delivered to your home within the next few days.

Here you can find out the current exchange rate from euros to Canadian dollars.