To put it simply: the Mint makes coins and the Bank makes bank notes
“Is this the place I can pick up that gold bar? “
“So you guys make the coins, right?”
If we had a nickel for every time people asked questions like that, we’d have… Well, I suppose we have roughly that number of nickels already; we have a long history as a currency museum after all. When the museum was open, somebody would ask a similar question several times a week. We’ve even had visitors argue with us, convinced that we were the Mint and they had made reservations for a tour. It was also a regular occurrence for a busload of school children to come see us when they were meant to go to the Mint and vice-versa.
It seems that the Royal Canadian Mint and the Bank of Canada get easily confused in the minds of the public. Both are crown corporations that produce currency and the Bank’s museum featured dozens of display cases stuffed with coins. Who can blame our visitors for being confused, really? All that’s required is a little education.
That’s what we’re here for and that’s why our new museum will be showcasing the four functions of the Bank of Canada - functions that, important as it is in its own right, the Mint does not share with us.
- Designing, producing and distributing Canada’s bank notes, replacing worn notes, deterring counterfeiting through leading-edge bank note design, public education and collaboration with law-enforcement agencies.
- Contributing to solid economic performance and rising living standards for Canadians by keeping inflation low, stable and predictable. Since 1991, the Bank’s monetary policy actions toward this goal have been guided by a clearly defined inflation target.
- Promoting a stable and efficient financial system in Canada and internationally.
- Providing effective and efficient funds-management services for the Government of Canada, as well as on its own behalf and for other clients.
All that being said, the Mint really is a great place to visit. We strongly recommend you take a tour. In a few years, you can tour us too. Please remember, though, we’ll be the ones on Wellington Street where they don’t make the coins.
In 1812, British North America had no banks and little currency. With the prospect of war drying up supplies of coins, the government of Lower Canada decided to issue legal tender notes called “army bills” to pay for troops and supplies.
What was proposed was a complete about-face from the philosophy behind recent security printing. If photocopiers could easily deal with the colours and designs of the current series, then the next series should be bold and simple.
From windmills and solar panels to electric cars, signs of the green economy are all around us. Check out our resources for how to teach about the green economy.
Introduce important financial skills to your children, and help them plan for their futures with free resources from the Bank of Canada Museum and others.