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The Rise of Banks

By Library and Archives Canada | Monday, March 29, 2004

Montreal Bank, $5, 1821
Montreal Bank, $5, 1821

At the end of the War of 1812, in 1815, the British government redeemed army bills at full value, helping to restore the public's confidence in paper money and setting the scene for the rise of banks in Canada. The new banks issued their own notes, which were guaranteed by their reserves of gold and silver. One of the first banks to receive a charter from the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada was the Montreal Bank, which changed its name to the Bank of Montreal. When it received its charter in 1822, it quickly became one of the most powerful banks in the country.

Banque du Peuple, $1, 1836
Banque du Peuple, $1, 1836

French-Canadian banks also appeared in Lower Canada. One of the best known was the Banque du Peuple, which was founded in 1835 in Montreal.

Bank of Upper Canada, $1, 1823
Bank of Upper Canada, $1, 1823

Other banks opened their doors in Upper Canada. The Bank of Upper Canada, which opened in 1821, was long the largest bank in the Province of Canada. It collapsed in 1866.

Bank of P.E.I., 10 shillings, 1860
Bank of P.E.I., 10 shillings, 1860

Banks also appeared outside Upper and Lower Canada: in the Maritimes (for example, the Bank of Prince Edward Island) and later in the west (for example, the Bank of British Columbia).

Bank of British Columbia, $1, 18--
Bank of British Columbia, $1, 18--

This article represents a portion of the the article titled Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada

Source : Library and Archives Canada

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