The Polymer series $20 bill features a new portrait of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Engraved by Canadian Bank Note Company art director Jorge Peral, the portrait is based on a recent and officially approved photograph commissioned by the Bank of Canada. The vignette on the back is the Canadian National Vimy Memorial located on the site of the 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge in northern France. Inscribed with the names of over 11,000 of the fallen First World War soldiers who have no known resting place, it is also a memorial to all the Canadian men and women who served in the Great War. The Canadian flag is shown behind the monument, and the scene is flanked by images of poppies. The ceremony for the issue of the $20 note was held at the Canadian War Museum.

As with all of the notes in this series, the large window shows a smaller image of the portrait in colour, with an architectural feature of the Parliament Buildings rendered in a colour-changing, reflective foil: in this case, the image is the Peace Tower, with the clock showing 11:00 in honour of the Armistice.