How the pennies’ disappearance will change Canadian lives

Jordana Divon
Contributing Writer
Daily Brew

Pennies, those coppery discs that weigh down your wallet and trigger the illusion you have more spare change value than you actually do, may soon be going the way of the two-dollar bill, according to the CBC.

As the news network reports, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Thursday that starting this fall, pennies will be phased out of existence due to low purchasing power and rising production costs. That means the mounds of one-cent coins currently nestled between your couch cushions will eventually become a collector's item after the Royal Canadian Mint stops distributing pennies to financial institutions. In a pamphlet outlining reasons for the change, Ottawa labeled the coin a "burden to the economy," citing an $11-million-per-year loss due to rising metal costs and decreasing purchasing value.

To offset the confusion and to ostensibly avoid the need to start drilling nickels into slivers for the appropriate amount of change, prices at cash registers will be rounded up or down to the nearest five-cent increment.

And though it will take many years before the copper coins become scarce, here are a few random things that will no longer involve pennies once they finally disappear:

*Unicef change boxes at Halloween.

*Finding a penny, picking it up and all the day having good luck (doesn't have quite the same ring with "dime").

*Making five wishes in a fountain per the single, lonely wish you can make with a nickel.

*Collecting bags full of pennies, hauling them to the drug store to sort and then using the sum total to buy an ice cream.

*Showing off your dexterity at keg parties by flipping pennies into a glass.

*Irritating people in the line behind you by insisting on paying a $9.99 charge in exact change to get rid of those coins.

*Using them at remote Illinois toll booths.

*Improvising when you can't find a screwdriver and need something like-sized.

*Incorporating them as substitutes for your missing board game pieces.

*Drilling holes in a stack and making penny jewelry.


Some inevitable consequences of the penny wipeout:

*Having to import American pennies for something to put in our loafers.

*Changing the lyrics to Pennies from Heaven so our grandchildren's grandchildren will understand what in the world Bing Crosby was singing about.

*Now offering to pay for someone's thoughts just got a little more expensive.

(With suggestions from

What are some of the uses you'll miss most when pennies go extinct?