The Canadian dollar, symbol $ or C$, code CAD, is the official currency of the North American country of Canada, and its nearly 34.5 million citizens. The Canadian dollar is divided into 100 cents. The Canadian dollar has such nicknames in English as buck and loonie, and Huard and picastre in French. As of 2010, the Canadian dollar is the 7th most traded currency in the world, making up 5.3% of the world’s daily trade share. The central bank in Canada is the Bank of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario.
The original currency in what is today the country of Canada was the Canadian pound, introduced in 1841 as 1 Canadian pound equal to 4 U.S. dollars. In 1853, the Province of Canada introduced the gold standard, and based its currency on the U.S, dollar decimal system, with the then separate colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia soon following suit. In 1867, the colonies of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia united into the Dominion of Canada and adopted the new Canadian dollar. In 1871, the Canadian Parliament passed the Uniform Currency Act, requiring all provinces of Canada to adopt the Canadian dollar. The CAD floated from 1950-1962, was pegged in 1962 to the USD at C$1.00 equal to US$0.925 until 1970, and from 1970 to today, has enjoyed status as a floating currency. The value of the Canadian dollar has historically enjoyed a positive correlation alongside the United States dollar. Today, many foreign central banks employ the use of the Canadian dollar as a reserve currency.
The Canadian dollar nickname “buck” comes from the traditional use of male “buck” beaver pelts that were historically used for trading and currency in what is today the northern U.S. and Canada. The dollar’s “loonie” nickname is derived from the image of the loon waterfowl shown on the C$1 coin and bill.
Name: Canadian dollar
Symbol: $ or C$
Decimal Unit: 1/100th cents
Nicknames: buck, loonie
Coins: 5, 10, 25, 50¢; C$1, 2
Notes: C$5, 10, 20, 50, 100
Central Bank: Bank of Canada
The Canadian dollar is subdivided into 100 cents, in the same format as the U.S. dollar. Canadian dollar coins are currently in circulation in denominations of 5, 10, 25, and 50¢, and 1 and 2 dollar values. Canadian dollar notes are currently in circulation in values of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollars. Coins depict the image of Queen Elizabeth the second on their front side and native Canadian animals on their reverse side. Today, coins are multi-ply plated steel. Canadian dollar banknotes were originally composed of paper, but as of 2011 are printed as polymer notes.