$ 1 and $ 2 among Canadian banknotes which should lose their legal tender status in 2021


TORONTO – All Canadians who have old paper bills in their wallet have until the end of the year to use them in daily transactions before merchants no longer have to accept them. The Bank of Canada (BoC) recalled Thursday that hundreds of millions of banknotes of $ 1, $ 2, $ 25, $ 500 and $ 1000 will see their legal tender removed as of January 1, 2021.

However, the bank says the decision to remove legal tender from these bills will have little impact on the majority of Canadians.

“Most Canadians will not be affected because the banknotes covered by this announcement have not been produced for decades and are rarely used in transactions,” the BoC said in a statement.

The BoC noted that stores can still accept these invoices as payment if they wish.

“Money is not just banknotes, but comes in many different forms: credit cards, debit cards, checks and contactless payments using mobile devices. You can pay with any of these forms of money, even if they are not considered legal tender, ”the BoC said.

While these rare banknotes lose their status in the coming weeks, that doesn’t mean the banknotes are suddenly worthless.

Canadians who have these expired banknotes can take them to their financial institution or send them to the BoC for reimbursement at face value. The bank added that people can also choose to keep their older banknotes as souvenirs.

However, there may be more money to be made by selling the rarer tickets to collectors.

The $ 500 bill is one of the rarest banknotes, and with just over three dozen banknotes in existence, they are extremely difficult to find. The value of an invoice can range from $ 20,000 to $ 60,000 depending on its condition, according to the Canada Currency website.

Other rare banknotes, such as the $ 25 bill, can also fetch thousands of dollars.


The $ 1 and $ 2 notes ceased to be issued in 1989 and 1996, respectively, and were replaced by the loonie and the toonie. Five versions were produced of these banknotes before being withdrawn from circulation.

The only $ 25 bills in circulation were issued as commemorative banknotes in 1935 to mark the 25th anniversary of King George V’s ascension to the throne. Both the note and the $ 500 note were scrapped soon after they were issued in 1935.

The BoC produced four versions of the $ 1,000 note before withdrawing it in 2000.

The last BoC count of the relevant invoices in circulation, from the end of 2019, is as follows:

  • Bill $ 1: 150,230,000

  • Bill of $ 2: 103036000

  • $ 25 note: 1840

  • $ 500 note: 40

  • $ 1,000 note: 632,019

These figures do not include banknotes issued by the Dominion of Canada, provinces, or chartered or defunct banks.

The withdrawal from legal tender status of these banknotes is in accordance with the amendments to the Bank of Canada Act and the Currency Act approved by Parliament in 2018 to remove expired denominations from circulation.

The BoC says having the power to remove the legal tender status of certain banknotes will help the bank better keep the banknotes in circulation up to date.

“The new banknotes have better security features that make them difficult to counterfeit, and they are in better condition overall. Keeping tickets up to date means they work more efficiently for all of us, ”the BoC said in the statement.

The BoC notes that “many other countries” have been doing this for years with more than 20 central banks around the world having the power to make their banknotes legal tender, including the Bank of England, Sveriges Riksbank in Sweden, Swiss Bank National Bank and Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

The federal government has indicated that it does not intend to withdraw any other banknotes from circulation at this time.


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