The Canada 150 bank note, which marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, began circulating earlier this spring, before the July 1st celebrations, when Canadians from coast to coast to coast waved the maple leaf in honour of this great nation.
Maple leaves are well represented on the front of this commemorative note. But flip it over to see the rugged splendour of Canada in five images on the back that show different regions of the country and depict the beauty and breadth of our land.
The image of the West Coast shows The Lions or Twin Sisters, majestic mountain peaks that overlook Vancouver, British Columbia. They are part of the vast Coast Mountains that stretch 1,600 kilometres from Vancouver to the Yukon. The name The Lions was given by John Hamilton Gray, one of the Fathers of Confederation. The local Squamish people know the peaks as Ch’ich’iyúy Elxwíkn, or the Twin Sisters. The view of these peaks shows Capilano Lake in the foreground, named after the supreme chief of the Squamish peoples.
For the Prairie Provinces, the image is of stalks of wheat ripening on a family farm outside Regina, Saskatchewan. Wheat is one of the most important cultivated crops in all of Canada. The bulk of Canadian wheat is grown in the Prairie Provinces of Western Canada: Saskatchewan is the largest producer, followed by Alberta and Manitoba.
The landscape representing Central Canada shows a forest on the bank of the Kipawa River, which ripples across the ancient rock of the Canadian Shield in Parc national d’Opémican in Quebec. Stretching from northern Alberta to Newfoundland and Labrador and from central Ontario to the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, the Shield covers 4.8 million square kilometres, roughly half the total land area of Canada.
For the East Coast landscape, the Atlantic Ocean meets the rocky coast of Cape Bonavista in Newfoundland and Labrador. The nearby town of Bonavista is one of the earliest European communities in North America. The Cape has historical importance as a possible landing site of John Cabot, who sailed to North America in 1497. Bonavista’s name is attributed to Cabot, who is said to have exclaimed, “Oh, buona vista” in his native Italian upon sighting land. This translates to “Oh happy sight.”
Finally, the North is depicted with the northern lights dancing above Canada’s largest national park, Wood Buffalo. This incredible natural preserve is one of the largest national parks in the world, straddling the boundary between Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Designated by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada as the world’s largest dark sky preserve in 2013, Wood Buffalo is one of the most ideal places on Earth to see the northern lights.
These landscapes represent a land as diverse as its people. The landscape of Canada has been, and will forever be, where our story unfolds.
Visit www.bankofcanada.ca/banknote150 to learn more about the design and security features of the Canada 150 note. Follow the Bank of Canada on Twitter (@bankofcanada) for the latest news about this special note marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation.