Canada's Plastic Money Durable, Laundry-Friendly And Not New (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post Canada and CP   First Posted: 06/21/11 08:50 AM ET   Updated: 08/21/11 06:12 AM ET

Stock up on those $100 AND $50 dollar bills. That's what's coming by the end of the year when Canada introduces plastic cash! The announcement, along with the a few pictures of the new bills, garnered some great responses on Twitter.

Polymer money is not new, in fact both Australia and Mexico have switched to the plastic notes in recent years.

See this slideshow below. The full story follows.

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  • The New $5 Bill

    Source: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bankofcanada/8693039417/sizes/c/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Bank Of Canada, Flickr</a>

  • The New $5 Bill

    From <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bankofcanada/8694157272/in/photostream" target="_blank">Bank Of Canada, Flickr</a>: "Robotics innovation is Canada’s ongoing contribution to the international space program and demonstrates our commitment to space exploration. The Canadian-built Mobile Servicing System is the sophisticated robotics suite that helped to assemble the International Space Station in orbit. This system consists of Canadarm2, Dextre and the Mobile Base. On board the space station—a permanent orbiting research laboratory—international partners conduct scientific experiments, many of which result in an enhanced quality of life on earth. Canada’s contribution to the space program evokes pride and sparks the imagination and curiosity of our future leaders in science and technology."

  • The New $10 Bill

    Source: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bankofcanada/8693039429/sizes/c/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Bank Of Canada, Flickr</a>

  • The New $10 Bill

    From <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bankofcanada/8693039423/in/photostream" target="_blank">Bank Of Canada, Flickr</a>: "The expansion of the railway in the 1880s was hailed as a remarkable feat of engineering for a young country with a varied and often treacherous terrain. At the time, the railway was the longest ever built, and its completion demonstrated Canada’s pioneering spirit by linking our eastern and western frontiers, connecting people, and facilitating the exchange of goods. Today, The Canadian train, winding its way through the Rockies showcases Canada’s natural beauty and symbolizes what we accomplished as a young nation."

  • The New $5 And $10 Bills

    Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney unveils the new polymer $5 and $10 bank notes during a press conference at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

  • The New $5 And $10 Bills

    Finance Minister Jim Flaherty unveils the new polymer $5 and $10 bank notes during a press conference at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

  • The New $10 Bill

    A new polymer $10 bank note is displayed during a press conference at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

  • Astronaut Chris Hadfield Displays The New $5 Bill

    Astronaut Chris Hadfield poses for a photo with a new polymer $5 bank note on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

  • The New $20 Bill

    Hand holding up the new polymer Canadian $20.00 bill.

  • The New $20 Bill

    Some new polymer twenty dollar bills, which is the most widely used bank note in the country, are pictured at Montreal on November 19, 2012.

  • The New $20 Bill

    The Bank of Canada introduced the plastic see-through $20 bill on May 2, 2012.

  • The New $50 Bill

    Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney holds a new $50 bill while standing in front of the Canadian Coast guard ship Amundsen Monday, March 26, 2012 in Quebec City. The Amundsen is displayed on the back of the new bank note made of polymer.

  • The New $100 Bill

    Bank of Canada Mark Carney shows off the bank's new circulating $100 bill, Canada's first polymer bank note, in Toronto on Monday Nov. 14, 2011.

  • The New $100 Bill

    The $100 bill was the first of Canada's paper denominations to go plastic and see-through.

  • Australia's polymer note

    An Australian 100 dollar polymer note is displayed above various international currencies. AFP PHOTO / Torsten BLACKWOOD

  • Australia's polymer note

    AFP PHOTO / Torsten BLACKWOOD

  • Mexico's polymer note

    A Mexican pesos note made out of polymer material. Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

  • Mexico's polymer note

    Mexico City, MEXICO: A sample of the new 50 Mexican pesos' note made out of polymer material to hinder its forgery, 14 November, 2004 in Mexico City. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Next: Twitter Jokes About New Bills

  • Andrew Coyne

    Even that would be better. @InklessPW: Wells designs new bills. What'll we put on the 5? Oscar Peterson. The 10? Peterson. 20? Glenn Gould

  • Cory S.

    Wait so there's no more quote from the Hockey Sweater on the new $5 bills? #manifencours

  • Tabatha Southey

    New bills should be 5 pin bowling for the $5, a Robertson screwdriver for the $10, a Canadian flag, draped over a picnic bench on the backs.

  • LauraBeaulneStuebing

    Theory about the new $5 and $10 bills: They're ugly enough that we don't want to keep them in our wallets.

  • Paul Wells

    Paul Wells designs the new bills. "What'll we put on the 5?" "Oscar Peterson." "And on the 10?" "Oscar Peterson." "20?" "Glenn Gould."

  • Wesley Fok

    Was expecting the new $5/$10 bills to literally have pictures of poop on them, based on the outcry. Surprise: they look like money!

  • Patrick Meehan

    Q: You're the federal government, what do you put on the new 5$ and 10$ bills? A: Things you've cut funding to. http://t.co/jqT3BLmENc

  • Jason Rehel

    Everyone is pretty damn hung up on the AESTHETICS of the new $5 and $10 bills in Canada. Me? I'd like money that WORKS in vending machines

  • Brittlestar

    @Cmdr_Hadfield Dude, with all the stuff you’ve had up there (guitars, Easter eggs, new $5 bills), how BIG was your suitcase?

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- OTTAWA -- Get ready to have a little more plastic in your wallet.

Starting in November, new polymer bank notes will start to replace paper-cotton bills that wear and tear more easily.

The first bills to go plastic will be the $100 notes. The $50 notes will follow next March. The rest of the plastic money will be in circulation by the end of 2013.

The polymer bank notes are more durable than paper money. The Bank of Canada expects the new bills to last 2.5 times longer than the paper ones.

They're also harder to fake than paper money. Some of the security features built into the new notes include raised ink, hidden numbers and metallic images in see-through windows.

The bills feel smooth and slightly waxy. They don't crumple easily, but they do crease when you try, and they don't seem to tear in half.

The new $100s look busier than the paper bills. There are now two portraits of prime minister Robert Borden -- a large one on the face of the bill and a smaller, metallic one in the clear band running through the note, above an image of Parliament Hill's Peace Tower.

On the other side of the bill, there's an image of a researcher at a microscope, a strand of DNA and an electrocardiogram. There's also a bottle of insulin next to the words "medical innovation."

The $50 has an image of CCGS Amundsen -- a research icebreaker -- and a map of the North. The designs of the $20, $10 and $5 bills will be unveiled later. The colours of the new bills have not changed.

The Conservative government announced in its 2010 budget that Canada would be switching to synthetic bills.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said the notes are necessary to fight counterfeiting. The number of counterfeit bills in circulation peaked in 2004, but has been steadily declining since.

"The polymer notes we're introducing today are unique," Carney said. "There's simply no other currency like them."

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and RCMP Commissioner William Elliott joined Carney for the announcement in Ottawa.

Senior Bank of Canada officials say they're confident the new notes won't melt in the dryer or harden in the winter.

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