Since being introduced in 1996 to replace the two-dollar bill, The Royal Canadian Mint states that more than 675 million toonies have been in circulation.
The toonie is the highest denomination of Canadian coins, but to me, this large bi-metallic coin is a classic Canadian novelty, and I don’t see it going anywhere in the near future.
There are 25 toonies in a roll, with a total value of 50 Canadian Dollars (CAD). This is similar to a roll of loonies, which also holds 25 for a total value of $25.
The toonie is the largest in diameter out of all of the Canadian coins. Over the years, there have only been minor updates and commemorative changes to the design of the bi-metal toonie. The official coin mint in Winnipeg, Manitoba, carries out these minor design changes to celebrate Canada’s history, values and culture.
In the past, these have included events such as the founding of Nunavut in 1999, the new millennium in 2000, the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation in 2003, and most recently the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City, in 2008. These special coins are popular among collectors in Canada.
The Features of the Toonie
The toonie was introduced in 1996 to replace the two-dollar bill. This was following the introduction of the loonie in 1987, which was put into circulation mostly as a cost-saving measure by the government.
Contrary to the loonie, the toonie has had a relatively more consistent design and characteristic profile ever since its inception, holding the same weight and composition since 1996.
You might be familiar with the image of the polar bear on an ice floe on the “tails” side of the 2-dollar coin and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait on the “heads” side.
The distinct features and larger size of the toonie also allow it to easily stand out in any coin pile, making it a breeze to roll them in a paper or plastic coin wrapper.
You may even have noticed this if you’ve ever looked more closely at the coins in your pocket or wallet over the years; the loonie tends to have more special editions, whereas the toonie is more consistent in design overall.
But this doesn’t necessarily make the toonie a boring coin. The toonie holds certain special features that are unique to this coin only, such as the fact that it is a bi-metal coin.
This specific feature is quite unprecedented in the sense that its special locking mechanism (that allows the outer ring and the core to stay locked with one another) was designed and executed by the Royal Canadian Mint for the toonie specifically, and is actually patented.
The Mint states that the inner core of the toonie can resist up to 181 kg of pressure, which is roughly ten times the force that the average human hand can exert. That’s one strong coin.
In addition to its unique design and mechanism, the Royal Mint also provides the following official characteristics for the two-dollar coin, which have been the same ever since its inception:
Composition: Outer ring of 99% nickel, as well as an inner core of 92% copper, 6% aluminum, and 2% nickel
Weight: 7.3 grams
Diameter: 28 mm
Thickness: 1.8 mm
Toonies socially took on their name for being the equivalent of two loonies. Just like the term “loonie”, which was already the term for the 1 dollar coin that was put into circulation 9 years earlier, “toonie” was coined by the citizens of Canada.
It is not an official name determined by the Mint or the government, although now recognized nationwide.
To understand the term loonie, we should first look at its 1 dollar sister – the loonie. The loonie takes its name from the loon bird that adorns its front and apparently, when the 2-dollar coin first started its circulation, many were conflicted as to what it should be called.
The 1-dollar coin already had its catchy name, and calling the 2-dollar coin the “2-dollar coin” didn’t make much sense.
In fact, some felt that adopting the term “beary” would be appropriate given the engraved polar bear on its front. Over the years, however, the term toonie seems to have stuck and now the name is even recognized by the Royal Mint.
Many of my non-Canadian friends have actually asked me this question; why are loonies called loonies and toonies, toonies. In short, I suppose that the answer lies within the cultural charm of Canadians.
Despite cash being used less and less in day-to-day purchases (and the big push towards digital with the health and safety hazards of handling cash during the COVID-19 pandemic), I recognize that you may still have your coin bank at home that you might want to deposit into your account.
Sometimes, you need more coins for things such as parking and laundry (or, you know, the arcade or the few jukeboxes still lying around).
The best place to get rid of and obtain large amounts of coins would be your bank. You can deposit your heavy coin pile directly into your bank account instead of lugging it around to make purchases.
Most banks prefer that you deposit your coins in rolls, and give out free paper rollers to incentivize this. Similarly, you can also go to your bank branch to withdraw cash from your account in the form of coins in a variety of denominations.
If you are looking into collecting coins as a hobby, try making more cash transactions to increase your chances of landing cool Canadian coins.
As I mentioned earlier, the Mint usually makes special edition coins to commemorate certain national events, such as anniversaries and one-off events, and puts a certain amount into circulation each time.
Carrying around more cash isn’t the only way to land such coins, however. The Royal Canadian Mint, in addition to minting all the coins in circulation, also makes non-circulation coins and makes them available for sale.
They are mostly worth more than their face value, but usually understandably so because these coins are collector’s items with unique designs and features that can’t just be obtained as change during your coffee run.
Some of their special edition coins are pure silver or gold, have specific themes, and even sometimes sport embedded crystals. These are also produced in limited quantities, making them even more desirable by the most serious coin collectors.
Browsing the collection of coins on sale on the Royal Canadian website, I certainly did find some interesting Canadian coins. For instance, check out this 1-kilogram pure gold coin that boasts a CAD $105,000 price tag.
What are Canadian toonies and loonies?
The loonie is a term used for the 1-dollar coin, and the toonie is used for the 2-dollar coin. These terms are usually used for Canadian coins only.
The loonie and toonie coins are the 2 highest denominations of coins in Canada. In decreasing order, the other coin denominations are quarters (25 cents), dimes (10 cents), and nickels (5 cents).
Are there 50-cent coins in Canada?
50-cent coins do also exist; however, most of these can only be found in collectors’ editions and are rarely used for day-to-day transactions. There are also no coin wrappers for 50-cent coins, whereas they can be found for every other coin denomination out there.
Are there still pennies in Canada?
You may be wondering about pennies or the 1-cent copper coins that still exist in many countries, such as the United States or the United Kingdom (which still has both 1 pence and 2 pence coins!).
Although they are still legal tender, the Royal Canadian Mint stopped the minting of pennies in 2012 and they are still in the process of being slowly phased out of circulation.
In Canada, the penny was discontinued due to its high production and handling costs in relation to its low 1-cent face value. In addition, it was found that pennies in circulation seemed to simply accumulate in Canadian households, as many did not want to carry them around.
As a result, they were discontinued as a cost-saving and environment-friendly effort.
If you still have Canadian pennies lying around the house, I would recommend popping into your bank to grab some paper penny rollers, rolling them (50 per roll), and depositing them into your bank account as most shops no longer accept them.
Even if they do, the inconvenience of counting them at the till is usually a hassle for everyone involved.
Conclusion – How Many Toonies Are in a Roll?
There are 25 toonies in a roll in Canada. As the highest coin denomination in Canada, each toonie roll has a face value of CAD $50.
Hope this post was helpful for you. Find out about other coins, and learn how many quarters are in a roll.