Edmonton·FROM THE ARCHIVES

May 7, 1987: $1 coin unveiled by the Royal Canadian Mint

The $1 coin is met with excitement by transit operators in Edmonton, but vending machine operators saw the coin as an added expense.

Edmonton transit says moving from bills to coins will save $400,000

On May 7, 1987, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled the $1 coin, prompting changes to how vending machines and city transit systems will accept the money. 1:43

The $1 coin is met with excitement by transit operators in Edmonton, but vending machine operators saw the coin as an added expense.

For Edmonton Transit Service, the loonie, as it became known, meant eventually not having to sort through paper dollars, translating into $400,000 in savings.

Llew Lawrence, ETS director of operations, lobbied for the dollar coin and hoped transit users would adopt the it for cash bus fare.
Llew Lawrence, ETS director of operations, lobbied for the one-dollar coin. (CBC)
"Those of us that worked and lobbied and worked to convince people, our job is done. It's not going to be a success if people don't use it," Lawrence said.
CBC's Harry Nuttall demonstrates the impact of the $1 coin with a cigarette machine. (CBC)

However vending machine operators were less enthused, estimating the cost of retrofitting each of their machines at $300.

The clock began ticking on the paper buck with the last bill rolling off the press on April 20, 1989.

In the video, CBC's Harry Nuttall shows Edmontonians what the dollar coin will mean to them, including a hands-on change demonstration in front of a cigarette machine.