Patterson, who will serve a two-year term beginning June 17, will be the central bank's senior representative for financial markets in its Toronto office.
She will also be a member of the bank's monetary policy review and financial system review committees.
Patterson, one of the most senior women on Bay Street, succeeds Evan Siddall in the job at the central bank.
The Bank of Canada created the position of special adviser in 1998 to help broaden its perspective.
Previous special advisers have been banking executives and academics including Jean Boivin, who later joined the central bank as a deputy governor before moving to the federal Finance Department to become an associate deputy minister.