Bank of Canada

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Bank Notes

Bank Note Series, 1935 to present

1954 Series

The third series of Bank of Canada bank notes was prepared in 1952. Significant changes to the design of Canada's paper currency gave it a whole new look that set the standard for the future.

With the ascension to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952, plates were prepared for the third series of Bank of Canada notes. They were very different from the 1937 series, although the colours and bilingual nature were retained. The portrait was moved from the centre of the bank note to the right-hand side where it was less susceptible to wear caused by the folding of notes. The elaborate detail of earlier issues was simplified, and the earlier allegorical figures were replaced by Canadian landscapes. The Canadian coat of arms was first introduced in this series and formed part of the background design. This is the only series on which the portrait of the Queen appears on all denominations.

This series caused controversy because highlighted areas of the Queen's hair gave the illusion of a grinning demon behind the ear. The term "Devil's Head" is commonly used to describe these bank notes. The Bank of Canada had both bank note companies modify the face plates by darkening the highlights in the hair. These modifications were made in 1956 for all denominations.


$1 $2 $5 $10 $20
$50 $100 $1,000

1937 | 1969-1979