If Google is correct, the Canadian Government established the Canadian dollar as the national currency in 1871. But it wasn't until 1935 when the Bank of Canada issued the first banknotes. So when did the Canadian Bank notes actually take precedence? What did Canadians commonly pay for stuff with? British Pound Sterling, I'm guessing? But was USD in there too? My question is basically around how long the transition time was?

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    Relevant, but not exhaustive en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Canadian_dollar Aug 31, 2023 at 15:49
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    Although nowadays most countries have one central bank that officially issues banknotes, it was not the case until quite recently. In UK and Hong Kong for example, there are several banks issuing GBP and HKD even today, although the currency is still regulated by the central bank.
    – xngtng
    Sep 1, 2023 at 8:58
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    @xngtng: Specifically in the UK, only the Bank Of England can issue notes in England and Wales, but there are separate issuers in Scotland and NI. Sep 1, 2023 at 10:16
  • @JackAidley incluiding in Northern Ireland the curiosity of £sterling banknotes issues by Danske Bank. Note that in Scotland there are no banknotes from anyone which are formally legal tender - only £1 and £2 coins from the Royal Mint - even if Scottish and English banknotes are generally accepted in places which have not gone cashless.
    – Henry
    Sep 1, 2023 at 13:46
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    With generally lower price levels and the existence of $10 gold coins, paying for routine purchases entirely in coins would have been more practical than it is today.
    – dan04
    Sep 1, 2023 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


They paid with the coins and banknotes issued by chartered banks, and also by the Canadian government directly. The 1935 date only refers to when the Bank of Canada, created in 1933, started issuing its own notes. From Wikipedia (Canadian dollar):

Canadian dollar banknotes were later issued by the chartered banks starting in the 1830s, by several pre-Confederation colonial governments (most notably the Province of Canada in 1866), and after confederation, by the Canadian government starting in 1870.

Also: Banknotes of the Canadian dollar

This is analogous to the way banknotes were issued in the United States before the creation of the Federal Reserve system in 1913.

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    If I recall correctly, in Hong Kong the banknotes are still issued by a couple of chartered banks today. When you handle a wad of cash, you'll see the same denomination with a couple of different brands and artwork. It feels a bit disorienting coming from a country where banknotes come from a central bank and have only one or two art designs.
    – Nayuki
    Sep 3, 2023 at 19:57

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