Bank of Canada Unveils New Polymer $5 and $10 Bills, Will Begin Circulating in November

New $5 and $10 polymer bank notes were unveiled this week at the Bank of Canada’s Ottawa head office. Both of the new notes will begin circulating this November.

The new bills feature two transparent windows, metallic drawings, raised ink, and a bunch more security features, making them almost impossible to counterfeit. They follow in the foosteps of the $100 polymer bank note, released in 2011, and more recently the $50 and $20 bills.

“Canadians can be very proud of their new polymer bank notes,” said Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty. “With today’s unveiling of the final two notes in the series, one can see not only the unique story that each of the five denominations tells, but the unifying theme that underlies them all—the profound courage, determination, and ingenuity of our nation and its people.”

While expensive to make (twice the price of the old bills), the idea is that these new bills are so tough they’ll last a lot longer, meaning less wasted currency and no awkward moments at Tim Horton’s with a ripped bill. The Bank of Canada tested them against ripping, melting, and freezing.

“The Polymer series notes are at the frontier of bank note technology. The new $5 and $10 bank notes depict the frontiers of our country and our planet,” said Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney. “It is fitting that we are today crossing the final frontier for a world first – the unveiling of a bank note from space.”

The front of the $5 note features a portrait of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada from 1896 to 1911.

The new $10 note features an image of The Canadian train journeying through the Rocky Mountains. A portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald, who was Prime Minister of Canada (1867-1873, 1878-1891) at the time of the railway completion, is featured on the front of the note.

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press