A Visit to Canada 150

During a short visit to Ottawa this past week, I visited the newly opened Bank of Canada Museum across Wellington from Parliament Hill. I have to say that it was a wonderful visit to an engaging and enjoyable interactive museum experience. Not only for adults but for kids as well.

In addition, if you choose to visit this year, I also recommend visiting Park Jacques Cartier on the Gatineau, QC side of the Ottawa River where you can visit the amazing MosaϊCanada 150 outdoor sculpture garden. At the end of the tour, there is a Royal Mint of Canada booth where you can purchase commemorative coins for the 150th Anniversary celebrations this year. Many of the examples are 99.99% silver (as well as gold coin and colorized coin examples).

A circulating example of a 150th Anniversary coin is the "Loonie" without the Loon:
You would think that the portrait of the Queen would be less stylized and more authentic as it had been in the past, or as detailed as the reverse.

Another change since our last visit to Canada a few years ago was the introduction of Polymer bank notes. We found the notes in our possession seemed to wrinkle and stay that shape. Our Canadian friends said that the notes were not problematic to use and in fact they have no complaints about the new notes, that have been in use for about three years.  A black and white photo of a $5 bill in circulation appears below. The actual note is light blue in color. The notes have many examples of the latest in anti-counterfeiting technology and the Bank of Canada Museum has a great display relating to this and the history of Canadian paper money. Apparently, the polymer notes are expected to last 2-3 times longer then conventional paper money.

The key landmark in Ottawa is the impressive Parliament Hill Center Block with the Peace Tower as depicted below: