Canada has been rolling out new polymer (plastic) currency since 2011. This past Thursday the Bank of Canada put the last two denominations into circulation: the $10 and $5 bills.
That completes the transition, as Canada doesn’t print $1 bills anymore, preferring $2 and $1 coins. Polymer $100, $50 and $20 are already in mass circulation.
While colors on Canadian bills are unchanged the look – and the feel – is noticeably different than with old “paper” bills.
Here’s what made the cut, in terms of image themes, as described by a Bank of Canada press release:
$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)
If you travel in Canada, or handle Canadian currency in the U.S., expect to encounter these soon.