Located at 320 Sussex Drive, in Ottawa’s downtown core, the Royal Canadian Mint has been in operation since 1908. Here, you’ll learn about how Canadian coins are made. On a tour, you can see more than one million dollars’ worth of pure gold and you can even hold a solid gold bar in your hands. If you visit the Mint on a weekday, you can actually see Canadian coins being made! Learn more about the Mint below.
- Still operating in the same location today, the Ottawa branch of The Royal Canadian Mint (previously called Britain’s Royal Mint) officially opened on Jan. 2, 1908, when the first bronze cent was struck by Governor General Earl Grey.
- In 1911, the Mint opened its first gold refinery. During World War I, the refinery was used to produce quantities of gold bars for Britain, with which it could pay its debts to other countries.
- “The Mint,” as it’s known locally, became a wholly Canadian institution in 1931, when the minting enterprise as well as the land was passed into Canadian hands. It then became the Royal Canadian Mint.
- In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint reached a new peak in its history with a Guinness World Records certification for the largest coin in the world! The bullion coin weighs 100 kg and is 99.999% pure gold. The face value of the coin is $1 million.
- The Royal Canadian Mint has three locations across Canada: Ottawa (headquarters), Winnipeg (Man.) and Vancouver (B.C.).
- The Winnipeg production branch of the Royal Canadian Mint was opened in 1976. It is the most high-tech facility of all the branches, and is one of the largest and most elaborate minting operations in the world. All of Canada’s circulation coins as well as products for foreign customers are produced here. Over the years, the Mint has produced coins for more than 60 countries around the world.
- The Ottawa Mint facility produces numismatic products, while the Winnipeg facility produces circulated coins.
- In order to meet the demands of years to come, a new gold refinery was built in 1936. This refinery is still in operation today and has a number of records, including becoming the world’s first refinery to produce 9,999 fine gold bullion coins in 1982, along with being the first to achieve 99,999% fine gold purity in 1999. Since 1969, the refinery has produced more than 9,999 fine gold bars!