The Canadian dairy industry has bequeathed a tangible numismatic legacy in the form of tokens that were once used by customers to purchase dairy products. From the late 19th century through the 1960s and 1970s, dairy distributors of Canada issued a wide array of tokens as monetary substitutes for advertising purposes and for customer convenience and home delivery.
The earliest known Canadian dairy tokens were issued in the 1890s. Period catalogues (Paquet, Breton) list several. Some of these pieces, however, were fantasies-not intended for use in milk delivery-created before the turn of the 19th century, but exclusively for sale to eager collectors.