Cash

Canada uses the dollar for its currency. Paper money comes in $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills.

This chart shows Canadian coins, their nicknames, the way you write their value, and whether or not you can use them in vending machines to buy soft drinks or candy. All Canadian coins have a picture of the queen on one side (heads). On the other side of the penny (tails), there are maple leaves. On the nickel, there is a beaver, Canada’s national animal. The ship on the dime is called the Bluenose. On the quarter, there is a caribou. The dollar coin has a loon; that’s why it’s called a loonie. The twoonie got its name because it is equal to “two loonies”.

Name Nickname Written Vending Machines?
1 cent penny $0.01 or 1¢ no
5 cents nickel $0.05 or 5¢ usually
10 cents dime $0.10 or 10¢ usually
25 cents quarter $0.25 or 25¢ yes
1 dollar loonie $1.00 yes
2 dollars twoonie $2.00 some

Most US coins are accepted in Canadian stores and vending machines, just as you can use American paper money almost everywhere in Canada. However, if you go to the United States, don’t try to use Canadian money. Except for towns near the border, American stores will not accept Canadian money. It is better to exchange your Canadian money for American at a currency exchange store or a bank, because then you will get the best exchange rate.

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