May 24, 2012 – In 1858 Canada – at that time the British colony United Province of Canada – minted its first penny, a one cent coin featuring Queen Victoria on the obverse. On May 4, 2012 in the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg Finance Minister Jim Flaherty pushed a button to mint the last Canadian penny ever. This lucky piece of money has been transferred to Canada’s currency museum in Ottawa.
Production cost had exceeded the penny’s face value rendering it thus a non profitable coin and a financial burden to the community. In addition handling the small money was felt inconvenient. Of the ca. 35 billion issued pennies more than half of them has been issued in the course of the last twenty years.
Issued pennies remain in circulation and are still valid, but will become rather useless. Due to its elimination cash transactions are expected to be rounded. Only non-cash transactions will continue to be calculated to the penny.
You will find a lot of news videos on the CTV website.
The Royal Canadian Mint offers a section dedicated to the elimination of the penny with comprehensive information.
To learn more about the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada, please click here.
You can read the preview of the auction featuring one of the first Canadian pennies here.