Bank of Canada came into being through the work of a typically Canadian institution, a Royal Commission. The Royal Commission on
Banking and Currency recommended the establishment of a central bank in Canada in September of 1933.
Up to that time, issuing bills was almost exclusively a function of private or chartered banks. Provincial and municipal governments in the
1830's to 1860's even issued notes for themselves.
By 1866 the Government, hugely in debt, implemented government-issued bills in denominations of $1 to $1000. In 1871 the Government started
to restrict the banks from issuing their own currency, by taking over $1 and $2 bills and permitting the bank to produce only larger
When the Bank of Canada finally came into being in 1935, the banks were given 10 years to reduce their issues to 25% of their paid-up
capital. In 1944, the Bank Act removed completely the right to issues bills.
Since then, the Bank has released several different "designs" we call series.