Bank of Canada

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Bank Notes

Bank Note Series, 1935 to present

1986 Series, Birds of Canada

The 1986 series of bank notes, often referred to as the "Birds of Canada" series, was designed with enhanced security features to counter developments in colour-copier technology. Other improvements included:

  • making the bank notes readable on high-speed note-processing equipment;
  • incorporating codes to be read by portable electronic reader that (either audibly or with a vibrating signal) identifies the denomination of bank notes for visually impaired users.

New, larger portraits of former Canadian prime ministers and the Queen were engraved to take better advantage of the security offered by intaglio printing. Canadian birds were the new focal point for the backs of the notes. The birds chosen had to blend with the colour of the bank note and had to be found across Canada.

The $1 note was not reissued as part of this series and was gradually withdrawn from circulation. More recently, the $2 note has also been withdrawn. Both denominations (which remain legal tender) were replaced by more durable and longer-lasting coins, reducing the costs of producing Canada's currency.

As part of the fight against money laundering and organized crime, the 1,000 denomination was withdrawn for circulation in 2000.


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

1969-1979 | 2001-2004