Currency of the Dominion of Canada (1870-1872)


This page shows examples of each major note which was issued for use between 1870 and 1872 in the Dominion of Canada.
It does NOT cover minor varieties.
All of the currency designs displayed here were printed for circulation as legal tender.

NOTES:
1. Click on any photo to load a much larger version of the same photo.

2. You will find the Charlton Catalogue number listed at the top of the text box beside each set of images.
This web page makes references to various Charlton Numbers. The copyrights to these Numbering Systems are the property of CHARLTON INTERNATIONAL INC and have been used here with their written consent.

3. Because it is illegal to copy a photo of any banknote for the purposes of counterfeiting, the ability to 'right-click' and save these images has been disabled.



1870-1872 Dominion of Canada Notes

For a temporary period following Confederation in 1867, Province of Canada notes served as the Dominion of Canada's first national currency, and notes were dispatched from Ontario and Quebec to the other provinces. In 1870, the first Dominion of Canada notes were issued in denominations of 25 cent, $1, $2, $500 and $1000. $50 and $100 notes followed in 1872.

1870-1872 Dominion of Canada Numbering System

1870-1872 Dominion of Canada Numbering System

New collectors might assume that the printed numbers found on Dominion of Canada banknotes are "serial numbers". This is not the case. Most notes were printed in sheets of ten notes each (25 cent) or four notes each (all other denominations). The number found on each note is actually the sheet number, and all notes on each sheet share the same number.

They were differentiated from the other notes on the sheet with the addition of a "Check Letter".


1870-1872 Dominion of Canada 25 Cent Notes

Unlike the larger denomination notes, 25 cent notes did not use sheet numbers, check letters or plate numbers. The first two million notes produced in 1870 contained a series letter "A" (located under the "1870" on the left side of each note). The "B" Series was produced in 1871 and released as required between 1871 and 1897. A third series of notes were produced during the 1890s with no series designation, The same plates used in 1870 were re-used, but the series letters were removed from the plates before printing.

1870 25 Cent Note

DC-1a

25 Cent (A Series)
(Shinplaster)

VIGNETTES:
Front Center - Britannia.
Back - "REDEEMABLE ON PRESENTATION AT MONTREAL, TORONTO OR ST. JOHN".

These notes were issued as a temporary measure for the public to use as change while the new nation waited for the 1870 issues of silver coins to be minted and issued.

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

They were more universal meaning each note could be redeemed in Montreal, Toronto or St. John.

Due to their popularity however they were used for the next 65 years, with new designs issued in 1900 and 1923.

The main difference between varieties of this note are the series letters printed just above Dickinson's signature.
This variety is a "Series A", which were printed and released in 1870:

1870 25 Cent Note

DC-1b

25 Cent (Series B)
(Shinplaster)

VIGNETTES:
Front Center - Britannia.
Back - "REDEEMABLE ON PRESENTATION AT MONTREAL, TORONTO OR ST. JOHN".

These notes were issued as a temporary measure for the public to use as change while the new nation waited for the 1870 issues of silver coins to be minted and issued.

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

They were more universal meaning each note could be redeemed in Montreal, Toronto or St. John.

Due to their popularity however they were used for the next 65 years, with new designs issued in 1900 and 1923.

The main difference between varieties of this note are the series letters printed just above Dickinson's signature.
This variety is a "Series B" (Large B), which were printed and released as required between 1871 and 1897:
Also note there is a variety called Series B (small B). You can see the vertical stroke of the "B" is much narrower in the small B variety as shown here:

1870 25 Cent Note

DC-1c

25 Cent (Plain)
(Shinplaster)

VIGNETTES:
Front Center - Britannia.
Back - "REDEEMABLE ON PRESENTATION AT MONTREAL, TORONTO OR ST. JOHN".

These notes were issued as a temporary measure for the public to use as change while the new nation waited for the 1870 issues of silver coins to be minted and issued.

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

They were more universal meaning each note could be redeemed in Montreal, Toronto or St. John.

Due to their popularity however they were used for the next 65 years, with new designs issued in 1900 and 1923.

The main difference between varieties of this note are the series letters printed just above Dickinson's signature.
This variety is a "Plain" (no series letter), which were printed and released during the 1890s
Because the series letter was ineffectively removed from the original 1870 plates, some "Plain" notes will show traces of the series letter:


1870 1 Dollar Note (Montreal)

DC-2a

1 Dollar
(Montreal)

VIGNETTES:
Front Left - Jacques Cartier.
Front Center - Riss portrait of Britannia with shield, globe with CANADA marked on it, an owl and dove, a cherub holding a cadeuceus.
Front Right - None.
Back - "PAYABLE AT MONTREAL".

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.
A third manuscript signature was added vertically near the left or right end of the face either in Ottawa or at the office of the various Assistant Receivers General.

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal, Toronto, St. John, Halifax or Victoria)

This example could only be redeemed in Montreal, Quebec.

Each city used a different colour of ink to print the sheet numbers. Notes to be redeemed in Montreal consisted of a 6 digit number and used blue ink for their sheet numbers.

1870 1 Dollar Note (Toronto)

DC-2b

1 Dollar
(Toronto)

VIGNETTES:
Front Left - Jacques Cartier.
Front Center - Riss portrait of Britannia with shield, globe with CANADA marked on it, an owl and dove, a cherub holding a cadeuceus.
Front Right - None.
Back - "PAYABLE AT TORONTO".

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

A third manuscript signature was added vertically near the left or right end of the face either in Ottawa or at the office of the various Assistant Receivers General.

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal, Toronto, St. John, Halifax or Victoria)

This example could only be redeemed in Toronto, Ontario.

Each city used a different colour of ink to print the sheet numbers. Notes to be redeemed in Toronto consisted of a 6 digit number and used red ink for their sheet numbers.

1870 1 Dollar Note (St. John)

DC-2c

1 Dollar
(St. John)

VIGNETTES:
Front Left - Jacques Cartier.
Front Center - Riss portrait of Britannia with shield, globe with CANADA marked on it, an owl and dove, a cherub holding a cadeuceus.
Front Right - None.
Back - "PAYABLE AT ST. JOHN".

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

A third manuscript signature was added vertically near the left or right end of the face either in Ottawa or at the office of the various Assistant Receivers General.

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal, Toronto, St. John, Halifax or Victoria)

This example could only be redeemed in St. John, New Brunswick.

Each city used a different colour of ink to print the sheet numbers. Notes to be redeemed in St. John consisted of a 5 digit number and used black ink for their sheet numbers.

1870 1 Dollar Note (Halifax)

DC-2d

1 Dollar
(Halifax)

VIGNETTES:
Front Left - Jacques Cartier.
Front Center - Riss portrait of Britannia with shield, globe with CANADA marked on it, an owl and dove, a cherub holding a cadeuceus.
Front Right - None.
Back - "PAYABLE AT HALIFAX".

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

A third manuscript signature was added vertically near the left or right end of the face either in Ottawa or at the office of the various Assistant Receivers General.

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal, Toronto, St. John, Halifax or Victoria)

This example could only be redeemed in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Each city used a different colour of ink to print the sheet numbers. Notes to be redeemed in Halifax consisted of a 6 digit number and used black ink for their sheet numbers.

1870 1 Dollar Note (Victoria)

DC-2e

1 Dollar
(Victoria)

VIGNETTES:
Front Left - Jacques Cartier.
Front Center - Riss portrait of Britannia with shield, globe with CANADA marked on it, an owl and dove, a cherub holding a cadeuceus.
Front Right - None.
Back - "PAYABLE AT VICTORIA".

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

A third manuscript signature was added vertically near the left or right end of the face either in Ottawa or at the office of the various Assistant Receivers General.

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal, Toronto, St. John, Halifax or Victoria)

This example could only be redeemed in Victoria, British Columbia.

Each city used a different colour of ink to print the sheet numbers. Notes to be redeemed in Victoria consisted of a 5 digit number and used blue ink for their sheet numbers.


1870 2 Dollar Note (Montreal)

DC-3a

2 Dollar
(Montreal)

VIGNETTES:
Front Left - General Wolfe.
Front Center - Indian chief on bluff watching a train below, "Nor'West".
Front Right - General Montcalm.
Back - "PAYABLE AT MONTREAL".

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

A third manuscript signature was added vertically near the left or right end of the face either in Ottawa or at the office of the various Assistant Receivers General.

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal, Toronto, St. John, Halifax or Victoria)

This example could only be redeemed in Montreal, Quebec.

Each city used a different colour of ink to print the sheet numbers. Notes to be redeemed in Montreal consisted of a 5 or 6 digit number and used blue ink for their sheet numbers.

1870 2 Dollar Note (Toronto)

DC-3b

2 Dollar
(Toronto)

VIGNETTES:
Front Left - General Wolfe.
Front Center - Indian chief on bluff watching a train below, "Nor'West".
Front Right - General Montcalm.
Back - "PAYABLE AT TORONTO".

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

A third manuscript signature was added vertically near the left or right end of the face either in Ottawa or at the office of the various Assistant Receivers General.

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal, Toronto, St. John, Halifax or Victoria)

This example could only be redeemed in Toronto, Ontario.

Each city used a different colour of ink to print the sheet numbers. Notes to be redeemed in Toronto consisted of a 6 digit number and used red ink for their sheet numbers.

1870 2 Dollar Note (St. John)

DC-3c

2 Dollar
(St. John)

VIGNETTES:
Front Left - General Wolfe.
Front Center - Indian chief on bluff watching a train below, "Nor'West".
Front Right - General Montcalm.
Back - "PAYABLE AT ST. JOHN".

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

A third manuscript signature was added vertically near the left or right end of the face either in Ottawa or at the office of the various Assistant Receivers General.

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal, Toronto, St. John, Halifax or Victoria)

This example could only be redeemed in St. John, New Brunswick.

Each city used a different colour of ink to print the sheet numbers. Notes to be redeemed in St. John consisted of a 5 digit number and used black ink for their sheet numbers.

NOTE - Images are courtesy of the Bank of Canada Museum's National Currency Collection.

1870 2 Dollar Note (Halifax)

DC-3d

2 Dollar
(Halifax)

VIGNETTES:
Front Left - General Wolfe.
Front Center - Indian chief on bluff watching a train below, "Nor'West".
Front Right - General Montcalm.
Back - "PAYABLE AT HALIFAX".

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

A third manuscript signature was added vertically near the left or right end of the face either in Ottawa or at the office of the various Assistant Receivers General.

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal, Toronto, St. John, Halifax or Victoria)

This example could only be redeemed in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Each city used a different colour of ink to print the sheet numbers. Notes to be redeemed in Halifax consisted of a 5 or 6 digit number and used black ink for their sheet numbers.

1870 2 Dollar Note (Victoria)

DC-3e

2 Dollar
(Victoria)

VIGNETTES:
Front Left - General Wolfe.
Front Center - Indian chief on bluff watching a train below, "Nor'West".
Front Right - General Montcalm.
Back - "PAYABLE AT VICTORIA".

Each note was pre-printed with the signatures of William Dickenson and T.D. Harington.

A third manuscript signature was added vertically near the left or right end of the face either in Ottawa or at the office of the various Assistant Receivers General.

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal, Toronto, St. John, Halifax or Victoria)

This example could only be redeemed in Victoria, British Columbia.

Each city used a different colour of ink to print the sheet numbers. Notes to be redeemed in Victoria consisted of a 5 digit number and used blue ink for their sheet numbers.


1872 50 Dollar Note (Montreal)

DC-4a

50 Dollar
(Montreal)

VIGNETTES:
Front Center - Mercury holding a map of British North America, a harbour, ships and train in the background.
Back - "PAYABLE AT (50) MONTREAL".

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal or Toronto)

No signatures were printed on these notes. Once received in the appropriate city, each note was hand signed and coutersigned by the designated local authorities.

This example could only be redeemed in Montreal, Quebec. NOTE - Images are courtesy of the Bank of Canada Museum's National Currency Collection.

1872 50 Dollar Note (Toronto)

DC-4b

50 Dollar
(Toronto)

VIGNETTES:
Front Center - Mercury holding a map of British North America, a harbour, ships and train in the background.
Back - "PAYABLE AT (50) TORONTO".

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal or Toronto)

No signatures were printed on these notes. Once received in the appropriate city, each note was hand signed and coutersigned by the designated local authorities.

This example could only be redeemed in Toronto, Ontario. Photos of a circulated example could not be found. These are photos of Proof prints of each side.

NOTE - Images are courtesy of the Bank of Canada Museum's National Currency Collection.


1872 100 Dollar Note (Montreal)

DC-5a

100 Dollar
(Montreal)

VIGNETTES:
Front Center - Parliament Buildings.
Back - "PAYABLE AT (100) MONTREAL".

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal or Toronto)

This example could only be redeemed in Montreal, Quebec. No signatures were printed on these notes. Once received in the appropriate city, each note was hand signed and coutersigned by the designated local authorities.

NOTE - NO COMPLETE NOTES EXIST.

1872 100 Dollar Note (Toronto)

DC-5b

100 Dollar
(Toronto)

VIGNETTES:
Front Center - Parliament Buildings.
Back - "PAYABLE AT (100) TORONTO".

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in (Montreal or Toronto)

This example could only be redeemed in Toronto, Ontario. No signatures were printed on these notes. Once received in the appropriate city, each note was hand signed and coutersigned by the designated local authorities.

NOTE - NO COMPLETE NOTES EXIST.


1871 500 Dollar Note



DC-6a (Montreal)
DC-6b (Toronto)
DC-6c (St. John)
DC-6d (Halifax)
DC-6e (Victoria)
DC-6f (Winnipeg)
DC-6g (Charlottetown)

500 Dollar

VIGNETTES:
Front Center - Queen Victoria (Chalon portrait).
Back - "PAYABLE AT XXXXXX" (XXXXXX equals one of the 7 cities listed).

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in.

No signatures were printed on these notes. Once received in the appropriate city, each note was hand signed and coutersigned by the designated local authorities.

NOTE - NO COMPLETE NOTES EXIST. The only photo that could be located is that of a Proof printing of the back of the Toronto note.
NOTE - Images are courtesy of the Bank of Canada Museum's National Currency Collection.


1871 1000 Dollar Note




DC-7a (Montreal)
DC-7b (Toronto)
DC-7c (St. John)
DC-7d (Halifax)
DC-7e (Victoria)
DC-7f (Winnipeg)
DC-7g (Charlottetown)

1000 Dollar
(Toronto)

VIGNETTES:
Front Center - Allegorical woman with coat of arms of the Province of Canada, a lion, sheaf of wheat, cornucopia, bridge and Parliament Building in the background.
Back - "PAYABLE AT XXXXXX" (XXXXXX equals one of the 7 cities listed).

While the front of each note is identical, the back of each note states which city the note could be redeemed in.

No signatures were printed on these notes. Once received in the appropriate city, each note was hand signed and coutersigned by the designated local authorities.

NOTE - NO COMPLETE NOTES EXIST.


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