Bank of Canada Currency Museum
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What You Should Know
The impressive Yap stone, a curious piece from the island of Yap, is on display in the Garden Court, just outside the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada. It has the shape of a flattened doughnut, is more than two meters in diameter and weighs about three tons. Stones shaped like this one, but mainly much smaller in size, were used as money up to modern times on Yap, one of the Caroline Islands in the South Pacific. This piece has even been showcased in Ripley's "Believe it or not" Museum.
Year-round. Tuesday to Saturday: from 10:30 am to 5 pm,
Sunday: from 1 pm to 5 pm, Open Mondays from May 1 to Labour Day
245 Sparks Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G9
Tel: (613) 782-8914
Washrooms and wheelchair access, restaurants nearby, souvenirs, postcards of museum.
Guided Tour Reservations
Tel: (613) 782-8852
Fax: (613) 782-7761
Minimum 10 visitors required for guided tours.
Did You Know?
- Wampum, a form of money used by the aboriginal peoples, was legal tender in the British North American colonies until 1670.
- In 1685, authorities in New France issued money made out of playing cards until a shipment of funds arrived from France.
- The Hudson's Bay Company issued a brass token called a 'made beaver' which was equivalent to a skin of an adult male beaver. It was used as late as 1910.
- In 1935, the Bank of Canada issued notes in separate French and English versions; now all paper currency is bilingual.
- Canadian bank notes feature portraits of Prime Ministers. The image on the $10 note is that of Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.
- Canadian bank notes feature a reflective anti-counterfeiting device developed by the National Research Council Canada.
The Story of Canada's Currency
In Canada, like in most countries, the story of currency is intertwined with history and economy. The Bank of Canada's Currency Museum highlights the surprising range of articles from sea shells to Spanish dollars used for exchange. It also explains the evolution of a standardized and distinctive currency in this country.
At the Museum, you can also find out how coins are struck and bank notes are printed today.
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Location(s) of Business
245 Sparks Street,Ottawa,Ontario,K1A 0G9currencymuseum-052009