Viola Desmond banknote set to go into circulation

A new banknote featuring Viola Desmond's portrait will soon be making the rounds.

New $10 bill will also feature a map of Halifax's historic north end

Wanda Robson, sister of Viola Desmond, holds the new $10 banknote in Halifax on Thursday, March 8, 2018. The civil rights icon is the first Canadian woman to be featured on a regularly circulating bank note. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

A new $10 banknote featuring Viola Desmond's portrait will go into circulation in a week, just over 72 years after she was ousted from the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S.

The civil rights pioneer and businesswoman is the first Canadian woman to be featured on a regularly circulating banknote.

The new bill will also feature a map of Halifax's historic north end, home to one of Canada's oldest black communities and the site where Desmond opened her first salon.

Irvine Carvery, a prominent Halifax north-ender and former school board chair, says he's excited that the bill will both pay tribute to her and the neighbourhood.

He says the bill points to a recognition of the struggle that African Canadians have faced throughout history.

The Bank of Canada says the bill will also be the first vertically oriented banknote in Canada, which would allow for a more prominent image of Desmond and differentiate it from the current polymer notes.