Bank of Canada Discusses New $10 Bill with Retail Insider

By Mario Toneguzzi

The Bank of Canada is raising awareness for retailers of a new $10 bill that is vertical in shape so the industry is prepared to accept the money from consumers when it enters into circulation later this year.

The new bank note featuring Viola Desmond, which was introduced recently, features the first time that an iconic Canadian woman is portrayed on a regularly circulating Bank of Canada note.

Manuel Parreira , Regional Director with the Bank of Canada

Manuel Parreira, Regional Director with the Bank of Canada

“This new $10 note is the first vertically oriented bank note issued in Canada. This will allow for a more prominent image of Viola Desmond and differentiates this new $10 note from the current polymer notes,” said the Bank of Canada when it announced the new currency.

Manuel Parreira, Regional Director with the Bank of Canada, said the new $10 bill is like any other bank note in circulation.

“It depends on the specific retailers but it should have no impact at all as to whether it’s a cash handler, whether it’s a retailer, whether it’s a consumer, or even a machine,” said Parreira.



Raised Ink

Raised Ink

Colour-Shifting Eagle Feather

Colour-Shifting Eagle Feather

3D Maple Leaf

3D Maple Leaf

“Somebody who owns a bank note machine or a note acceptor there will probably be some changes required in that and our commitment . . . is that people are confident in using (it) and also that the machines accept (it). But we work with those organizations in advance, the bank note equipment manufacturers, and we make sure that they have the specs that they need in order to prepare for the issue of the note in circulation.”

Parreira said the Bank of Canada works with various stakeholders in all the different sectors to make sure that they are informed, aware and prepared for the note to come out.

“And as we get closer to the day of the issue, the day it physically comes out, we follow up on those stakeholders again,” he said. “We’ll create or ensure that there’s lots of media, lots of communication with our stakeholders . . . So it’s really an awareness campaign that we spread throughout Canada.”

Announcement of new Note. Left is Viola Desmond’s sister, Wanda Robson, with Finance Minister Bill Morneau on the right. Photo:  Bill Morneau Twitter .

Announcement of new Note. Left is Viola Desmond’s sister, Wanda Robson, with Finance Minister Bill Morneau on the right. Photo: Bill Morneau Twitter.

He said the new $10 bill will be circulating alongside the current $10 bill. The current $10 bills will slowly be pulled out of the system as they wear out.

The Bank of Canada said Viola Desmond was selected for the new $10 bank note by Finance Minister Bill Morneau following an open call to Canadians to nominate an iconic Canadian woman for the next redesigned bank note. A successful Black Nova Scotian businesswoman, Viola Desmond defiantly refused to leave a whites-only area of a movie theatre in 1946 and was subsequently jailed, convicted and fined. Her court case is one of the first known legal challenges against racial segregation brought forth by a Black woman in Canada, explained the Bank of Canada.

The Bank said the new $10 will be printed on polymer, which was introduced to Canadian bank notes in 2011. The vertical bank note is the same size, has the same functionality as existing Canadian bank notes and should not change how people handle cash, added the Bank.

“Our bank notes are designed not only to be a secure and durable means of payment, but also to be works of art that tell the stories of Canada. This new $10 fits that bill,” said Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, in a statement. “I’m immensely proud of all the innovation that went into this note—from the public consultation process that encouraged a national conversation on the important contributions of women in Canadian history, to the note’s beautiful vertical design, to its cutting-edge security features. Canadians can use this note with both confidence and pride.”

Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email:

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