The Bank of Canada Facts

bank of Canada

The Bank of Canada is the central bank of Canada. The Bank is the sole issuer of Canadian currency (CAD), and oversees the circulation of currency through the Canadian economy. Its other important function is the regulation of interest rates.

The Central Bank was established in 1934. Prior to that date, there was a concern that some interests were taking advantage of Canada's monetary system. For example, in 1837 there was a major financial crisis in Canada when Britain had to recall its circulating notes from our country after our bills had been discounted as payment to British firms.

15 Facts About Canada’s Central Bank

  • 1. Canada’s central bank was created in 1934 by the Bank of Canada Act, when its assets were moved from the Department of Finance to a newly incorporated independent organization.
  • 2. Before then, the Department of Finance had been responsible for issuing money and managing interest rates.
  • 3. The bank was built in Ottawa on what was then known as "the Observatory Hill." The Bank is located at the corner of Wellington and Bank Streets in Ottawa, Ontario.
  • 4. This may be a surprising fact, but the Bank of Canada was one of the first central banks in the world to have a website and to offer customers the option of doing business with it electronically.
  • 5. The bank has a long background, and its predecessors go back to 1821, when Upper and Lower Canada were both fighting inflation. They issued notes that had no backing in gold or silver.
  • 6. By 1831, the British Parliament was concerned that so much paper money was being issued and passed several acts stating how much could be issued by each colony.
  • 7. For all practical purposes, Canada was on the gold standard by 1853, and that system was to continue until the 1930s.
  • 8. In 1871, a new central bank called the Dominion of Canada Government Assurance Fund was created. It provided insurance for deposits in commercial banks, but it soon became a central bank in all but name.
  • 9. The creation of a Canadian currency was considered during the Depression era of the 1930s and 1940s, when there had been a failure to use credit wisely and a contracting economy reduced employment and raised unemployment.
  • 10. Tiff Macklem is the current Governor of the Bank of Canada.
  • 11. Since its creation, all the Governors for the Bank of Canada have been men.
  • 12. Since the 1930s, the "Bank of Canada" has been a colloquial term used to refer to Canadian banks in general. In fact, the Canadian financial sector is known as Canada's banking industry.
  • 13. The bank has two operational divisions; namely: Domestic (Canadian) and Foreign (International). They ensure that the Canadian payment system functions well on a day-to-day basis...The work involves managing risks posed by individual financial firms as well as systemic risk.
  • 14. In addition to its head office in Ottawa, the bank has offices across Canada and around the world.
  • 15. The Currency Museum is located in the Bank's head office. The museum contains exhibits on the history of Canadian currency, from the prehistoric whalebone money of Baffin Island to the present-day polymer bills. The museum also has a room devoted to banknotes from other countries and territories (including Bermuda, Hong Kong and Gibraltar).