Canadian pound

Canadian pound

The pound was the currency of Canada until 1858. It was subdivided into 20 "shillings", each of 12 "pence". In Lower Canada, the "sou" was used, worth ½ penny.


Although initially based on the British pound, with some British coins circulating, the scarcity of British coins led to the widespread use of Spanish dollars. These were accommodated into the £sd by setting a valuation for these coins. In Canada, the Halifax rating dominated, setting the Spanish dollar equal to 5 shillings. As this was 6 pence more than its value in silver, the Canadian pound was consequently lower in value than sterling. The York rating of 1 Spanish dollar = 8 shillings was used in Upper Canada, officially until its outlawing in 1796, unofficially well into the 19th century.

In 1841, the Province of Canada adopted a new, gold standard. The pound was equal to 4 U.S. dollars (92.88 grains gold), with the gold sovereign equal to 1 pound 4 shillings 4 pence. Thus, the Canadian pound was worth 16 shillings 5.3 pence sterling. This system persisted until 1858, when the Province of Canada decimalized, with the Canadian dollar equal to the U.S. dollar or 5 shillings of the previous currency.


Both Upper Canada (Canada West, modern Ontario) and Lower Canada (Canada East, modern Québec) issued copper tokens. Between 1835 and 1852, the "Bank of Montreal", the "Banque de Peuple", the "City Bank" and the "Quebec Bank" issued 1 and 2 sou (½ and 1 penny) tokens for use in Lower Canada. The "Bank of Upper Canada" issued ½ and 1 penny tokens between 1850 and 1857.


On notes issued by the chartered banks, denominations were given in both dollars and pounds/shillings, with 1 dollar = 5 shillings. Many banks issued notes, starting with the Bank of Montreal in 1817. See Canadian chartered bank notes for more details. Denominations included 5, 10 and 15 shillings, 1, 1¼, 2½, 5, 12½ and 25 pounds. In addition, small value, "scrip" notes were issued in 1837, by the Quebec Bank, in denominations of 6 pence (12 sous), ¼ and ½ dollar, and by "Arman's Bank", in denominations of 5, 10 and 15 pence (10, 20 and 30 sous).


*numis cite SCWC|date=1979
*numis cite SCWPM|date=1990.s

External links

Standard numismatics external links
world_coin_gallery_1_url = Canada
world_coin_gallery_1_name = Canada
banknote_world_1_url =
banknote_world_1_name =
dollarization_1_url =
dollarization_1_name =
gfd_1_url = Canada
gfd_1_name = Canada
gfd_data_1_url = 4004
gfd_data_1_name = Canada pound
show_gfd_excel = Y

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