Bank of Canada

Regular page >>
Important message for bank note reader users

Please be advised that your bank note reader (BNR) may experience difficulties reading some Canadian Journey series $10 bank notes. When you insert one of these $10 notes in a BNR, the result may be a "cannot read" message. This is not the result of a BNR malfunction but rather of a problem during the bank note printing process. The invalid BNR code does not affect the functionality or the security of these notes. Consequently, these notes shall remain legal tender.

The situation should be resolved with the introduction of the upgraded Canadian Journey series $10 note in the spring of 2005. At that time, all previous $10 notes will be removed from circulation as quickly as possible.

The Bank of Canada apologizes for any inconvenience and thanks you for your patience and understanding.

Bank Notes

Accessibility Features

Several features in the Canadian Journey and Birds of Canada bank note series are designed to help blind and visually impaired Canadians recognize bank note denominations either by touch, by sight, or by electronic signal. These design elements are not security features and should not be used to authenticate bank notes.

The tactile feature The tactile feature is located in the upper right corner on the face of Canadian Journey series notes. It consists of a series of symbols formed by groupings of six raised dots separated by a smooth surface. Each symbol is composed of two columns of three raised dots. These dots are embossed and back-coated to enhance their durability. These symbols are not Braille: they are a system developed in consultation with blind and visually impaired Canadians after research indicated that not all potential users read Braille.

The number and position of these symbols vary according to the denomination. The $5 note has one symbol, the $10 note has two symbols separated by a smooth surface, the new $20 note has three symbols separated by two smooth surfaces, and the $50 note has four symbols separated by three smooth surfaces. Like the $10 note, the new $100 bank note has two symbols, but the smooth surface or space between them is wider.

Large high-contrast numerals that identify the note's denomination appear on both sides of each note. A dark numeral on a pale background appears on the front, and a white numeral against a dark background appears on the back.

The colours of the various denominations, and the contrast between them, are similar to those used for previous series.

The Bank of Canada provides a bank note reader that helps the blind and visually impaired to determine the denominations of the Canadian Journey and Birds of Canada series through machine-readable codes. This hand-held device is able to inform the user of the bank note denomination in one of three user-selected ways: voice (English or French), tone, or vibration. Bank note readers are available free of charge through the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).

An upgrade to the bank note reader following the introduction of new high-denomination Canadian bank notes is currently available through your local CNIB office. This upgrade requires only a few minutes to complete and will not affect the current functionality of your bank note reader. Please contact your local CNIB office to arrange an appointment.