The New Face Of The Canadian $5 Bill Will Be One Of These Figures

The Canadian $5 bill is getting a facelift. 

Earlier this year, the Bank of Canada announced it was redesigning the bill, which currently features Canada’s seventh prime minister, Wilfried Laurier. 

The makeover follows a 2016 campaign to redesign the $10 bill, when civil rights activist Viola Desmond was chosen for the new banknotes, which debuted in 2018.

To get on the bill, a person must meet three qualifications:

  • They are a Canadian by birth or naturalization who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement, or distinction benefiting the people of Canada, or in the service of Canada.
  • They have been deceased for at least 25 years (having died before March 11, 1995 in this case).
  • They are not a fictional character. 


The Bank took nominations from Canadians earlier this year, and hundreds of names were put forward.  On Monday, the Bank of Canada released the eight-person shortlist of possible new faces for the $5 bill. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Terry Fox — 1958–1981

Probably the most familiar figure on the list to Canadians, Terry Fox ran his Marathon of Hope across Canada 40 years ago to raise awareness for cancer research. He never finished the run after the cancer reached his lungs, but raised nearly $25 million for cancer research. 

Pitseolak Ashoona — [c. 1904-1908]–1983

Pitseolak Ashoona was a self-taught Inuit artist whose work has been showcased in galleries around the world. She created auto-biographical works depicting traditional Inuit life. 

Robertine Barry (“Françoise”) — 1863–1910

Also known by the literary pseudonym Françoise, Robertine Barry was the first female French-Canadian journalist. She was a staunch activist for women’s suffrage, secular education and victims of domestic violence. 


  • Here Are 5 Famous Canadians Who Could Fit The New $5 Bill

  • Canada Wins Banknote Of The Year For $10 Viola Desmond Bill

  • Indigenous War Hero Deserves To Be New Face Of $5 Bill: Tory MPs

Binaaswi (Francis Pegahmagabow) — 1888–1952

Binaaswi was the most highly decorated Indigenous war veteran in Canadian history. He fought in the First World War and upon returning to Canada, assumed leadership  positions with the Wasauksing First Nation in Ontario and engaged in Inidgenous rights advocacy. 

Won Alexander Cumyow — 1861–1955

The first known Chinese-Canadian born in Canada, Won Alexander Cumyow was an advocate in Vancouver who worked to unite the city’s English-speaking and Chinese communities. 

Lotta Hitschmanova — 1909–1990

A grassroots humanitarian, Lotta Hitschmanova arrived in Canada as a Czech immigrant in the 1940s. She became well-known for her television addresses and appeals for support for humanitarian development projects around the world. 

WATCH: What you need to know about the $10 Viola Desmon note. Story continues below.


Isapo-muxika (Crowfoot) — c. 1830–1890

Crowfoot was a leader in the Blackfoot Confederacy and a key figure in Treaty 7 negotiations. He was well known for his diplomacy and for advocating peace between Indigenous communities and settlers. 

Onondeyoh (Frederick Ogilvie Loft) — 1861–1934

Onondeyoh founded the first pan-Canadian Indigenous organization in December 1918. He was a key figure in advancing the protection and expansion of Indigenous rights in Canada.

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