Beginning January 1, 2021, Canadians will no longer be able to use some old bills as legal tender, according to a Bank of Canada press release. "The federal government recently decided to remove legal tender status from some older bank notes," the statement reads.
Specifically, "this change will affect the $1, $2, $25, $500 and $1,000 notes, which are no longer being produced. Essentially, this means that Canadians will no longer be able to use them in transactions."
Note, however, that "most Canadians will not be affected because the bank notes targeted by this announcement have not been produced in decades and are rarely used in transactions."
The bill that was most recently discontinued was the $1,000 bill in 2000. "The $1 and $2 notes stopped being issued in 1989 and 1996, respectively, and were replaced with coins." The $25 and $500 bills were both discontinued in 1935.
Before 2018, the government did not have the power to "remove legal tender status." As a result, "every bank note issued by the Bank of Canada since we opened our doors in 1935 is still redeemable at its face value," according to a separate information page.
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"Technically, you can use a 1935 $25 bank note when you go shopping or pay a bill. The cashier might refuse it because it looks unfamiliar, but it is still worth $25." In fact, many young Canadians are unfamiliar even with the $2 bill.
But while Canadians will no longer be able to use these bills in transactions, they "will not lose their value," the Bank of Canada assures. People who still hold these bills may redeem them for their face value at their financial institution.
For more information on how to redeem old bills through the Bank of Canada, refer to its website here.
If you want to experience the novelty of spending these old bills, make sure to do so before January 1, 2021!