Banknotes of Canadian Dollars (CAD)
The first paper money issued in Canada denominated in dollars were British Army Bills, issued between 1813 and 1815 in denominations between $1 and $400. These were emergency issues due to the War of 1812. The first banknotes were issued in 1817 by the Montreal Bank. Large numbers of chartered banks were founded in the 1830s, 1850s, 1860s and 1870s, although many issued paper money for only a short time. Others, including the Montreal Bank (later called the Bank of Montreal), issued notes for several decades. Until 1858, many notes were issued denominated in both shillings/pounds and dollars (5 shillings = $1). A large number of different denominations were issued, including $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $10, $20, $25, $40, $50, $100, $500 and $1000. After 1858, only dollar denominations were used. See Canadian chartered bank notes for more information.
After its establishment in 1841, the Province of Canada began issuing paper money. Notes were produced for the government by the Bank of Montreal between 1842 and 1862, in denominations of $4, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. In 1866, the Province of Canada began issuing its own paper money, in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 and $500. In 1870, following Confederation, the Dominion of Canada introduced 25¢ notes along with new issues of $1, $2, $500 and $1000. $50 and $100 notes followed in 1872 but the bulk of later government note production was of $1 and $2 note, with $4 added in 1882. Denominations of $500, $1000, $5000 and $50,000 were issued after 1896 for bank transactions only.
The Bank Act of 1871 limited the smallest denomination the chartered banks could issue to $4, increased to $5 in 1880. To facilitate purchases below $5 without using Dominion notes, Molsons Bank issued $6 and $7 notes in 1871. The government issued $5 notes from 1912. The last 25¢ notes, known as shinplasters due to their small size, were dated 1923.
In 1935, with only ten chartered banks still issuing notes, the Bank of Canada was founded and began issuing notes in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1000. In 1944, the chartered banks were prohibited from issuing their own currency, with the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal among the last to issue notes.
Although the $1 coin was introduced in 1935, it was not until the introduction of the "loonie" that the banknote was withdrawn from circulation. The $2 note was also replaced by a coin in 1996. All banknotes are currently printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company and BA International Inc on behalf of the Bank of Canada.