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You might see more of these women in your next allowance


Photo by KMR Photography licensed CC BY 2.0

OK, you may not see them in your allowance, but maybe for your birthday or Christmas. Although it may seem like there are already lots of pictures of women on Canadian money, it’s all the same one – the Queen! She’s on one side of Canadian coins, and if you’re lucky enough to have a $20 bill, you can see the Queen there too. But the rest of the money is all men from history. But there are a lot - A LOT - of Canadian women that have done amazing things both in the past and today that are deserving of being on our money.

Just recently there was some great news - Prime Minister Trudeau announced that there will be a Canadian woman on a redesigned bill in 2018! We don't know which denomination it will be yet, but here are just a few ideas of some great Canadian women who are more than deserving of this big honour.

1. Laura Secord

Laura Secord on Canadian money

You might know her for the delicious chocolates, but in reality Laura Secord was a war hero and a spy! During the War of 1812, invading American troops had taken over her Queenston, Ontario, house. Laura heard about a surprise attack on British forces. She set off on foot to warn them, travelling 32 km. Some stories said she led a cow so she’d have an excuse if enemy soldiers spotted her (“Who, me? Just taking the cow out for a walk.”). She was able to warn everyone in time so the battle became a victory for the British.

Why should she be on the money, other than for being amazing?: She’s already been on a twenty-five cent coin, so it could be her time to level up!

2. Emily Carr

Emily Carr on Canadian money

As a young artist, Emily Carr trained in famous schools in England and France, but kept returning to her home in British Columbia. She went into the forest to paint and created images that changed the way people looked at the west coast of Canada. Emily used her art to call attention to issues facing First Nations and the environment.

Why should she be on the money, other than for being amazing?: Her art has already been on a stamp – why not the money too?

3. Viola Desmond

Viola Desmond on Canadian money

Viola Desmond was a Halifax businesswoman who became an unexpected warrior for civil rights. In 1946, while traveling through New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Viola went to see a movie. She took her seat, only to be told she had to go to the balcony – the movie theatre only let white people sit on the main floor and Viola was black. She refused to move, so the police came and dragged her off to jail. Viola decided to fight the racist laws in court. She lost her case, but her fight inspired the black community of Nova Scotia, and in 1954 the laws that allowed segregation in Nova Scotia were ended.

Why should she be on the money, other than for being amazing?: Nova Scotia officially apologized to Viola, but it came years too late. She’s also been on a stamp, but being on the money would be a great way to honour her.

4. Lucy Maud Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery on Canadian money

She wrote Anne of Green Gables, one of the best books ever! It made Prince Edward Island a popular destination for fans from around the world. Lucy spent her whole life as a writer and teacher.

Why should she be on the money, other than for being amazing?: Her beloved character, Anne, has been on Canadian stamps, let Lucy have her chance to shine!

Even though these following two women don't make the Bank of Canada's criteria for nomination since they're still alive (you have to have died before 1991 to be considered), they have still done amazing things and should be considered for future choices. You never know, maybe they'll make it onto the money when your kids are getting an allowance?

5. Roberta Bondar

Roberta Bondar on Canadian money

The first Canadian woman in space! Roberta Bondar flew on the space shuttle Discovery and performed science experiments while in orbit. She worked for NASA for years, leading a team of other scientists. Not only an astronaut and a doctor, she’s also a professional photographer and environmental activist.

Why should she be on the money, other than for being amazing?: Roberta has an Order of Canada, and a medal from NASA, now let’s show her the money!

6. Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Saint-Marie on Canadian Money

A singer, actor, writer, teacher and activist, Buffy Sainte-Marie is still making music in her 70s! She uses her songs to call attention to the issues most important to her: the rights of Indigenous people, the environment, and peace.

Why should she be on the money, other than for being amazing?: She’s the only person on this list who’s hung out with Big Bird! Buffy was a regular visitor to Sesame Street.