Photo Care of Bank of Canada

This week Canada will have some very new looking bills in their wallets- if you still use cash, I mean.  A new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond, a businesswoman and civil rights activist will be unveiled at the Halifax Central Library on March 8.

Desmond, who lived in Nova Scotia from 1914-1965 is best known for standing up for civil liberties.  In 1946 she was jailed and fined for refusing to leave the whites-only area of a movie theatre.  The resulting court case was the first legal challenge against racial segregation from a black woman in Canada.

The Bank of Canada officially announced in 2016 that Desmond would be the first Canadian woman to be pictured on a banknote.  The $10 bill should begin circulation later this month.  Bank of Governor Stephen Poloz and Finance Minister Bill Morneau are both expected to be at the bills unveiling later this week.

With Desmond taking the place on the $10 note and another iconic Canadian set to appear on the $5 bill, Sir John A. MacDonald and Sir Wilfred Laurier will continue to be honoured on higher denominations to be redesigned at a later date.


You can read more about Viola Desmond on the Bank of Canada website, here.