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A History of the Canadian Dollar

History of the Canadian Dollar - cover

by James Powell

The history of Canada's money provides a unique perspective from which to view the growth and development of the Canadian economy and Canada as a nation. Author James Powell traces the evolution of Canadian money form its pre-colonial origins to the present day, highlighting the currency chaos of the colonial period, as well as the effects of two world wars and the Great Depression.

He also chronicles the ups and downs of our dollar through almost 150 years and describes its relationship with its U.S. counterpart.

Note: All files are in PDf format



The First Nations (ca. 1600-1850)

New France (ca. 1600-1770)

British Colonies in North America: The Early Years (pre-1841)

Currency Reforms (1841-71)

The Canadian Dollar under the Gold Standard (1854-1914)

Canada off the Gold Standard (1914-26)

Back on the Gold Standard—Temporarily (1926-31)

The Depression Years and the Creation of the Bank of Canada (1930-39)

Canada under Fixed Exchange Rates and Exchange Controls (1939-50)

A Floating Canadian Dollar (1950-62)

Return to a Fixed Exchange Rate (1962-70)

Return to a Floating Rate (June 1970-present)

Concluding Remarks

Appendix A: Purchasing Power of the Canadian Dollar

Appendix B: Alternative Money

Appendix C: Charts



You can download the complete publication in PDF format (4 mb).

Print copies are available at Can$8 each (plus 7% GST for Canadian residents and provincial tax where applicable) from:

Publications Distribution
Bank of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G9

Tel: 613 782-8248
Fax: 613 782-8874