The toonie is a bi-metallic coin introduced to Canadians in 1996 and was originally made of an aluminum bronze core with a nickel rim. However starting this year the core will be coated with brass and the outer ring will consist of steel plated with nickel. It's hoped the new coin will make them harder to counterfeit.
Backs of four toonies
I found four toonies in my change to show you their different backs. (Queen Elizabeth II is on the front of all.)
Starting in the upper left-hand corner and moving clockwise: 1996 shows you the original bear designed by Campbellford artist Brent Townsend (the reason for the big toonie in the first photo); 1999 features an Inuit drummer and commemorates the founding of Canada's third territory (carved out of the Northwest Territorries); 2008 commemorates the 400th anniversary of the founding Quebec City; and 2011 celebrates Canada's boreal forest (which covers more than half of Canada's land mass).
Added later because there have been questions: We do not use $1 or $2 bills here. We use $1 and $2 coins.
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