DEFINITION of 'Loonie'

Colloquial term that refers to the $1 Canadian coin, and also to the Canadian dollar in forex markets. The loonie derives its name from the picture of a solitary loon on one side of the coin.


The loonie was introduced in 1987 as a cost-saving measure to replace dollar bills. The 11-sided coin is made of aureate bronze, and was designed by noted wildlife artist Robert-Ralph Carmichael. The widespread acceptance of the $1 loonie led to the introduction of the $2 "toonie" in September 1995.

The loonie is among the top 10 most widely traded currencies in forex markets. Thanks to Canada's burgeoning exports of energy and commodities, the loonie was among the best-performing currencies against the U.S. dollar in the first decade of the new millennium.

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