New $5 and $10 polymer bills released

The Bank of Canada unveiled its new $5 and $10 polymer bills Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. (submitted...

The Bank of Canada unveiled its new $5 and $10 polymer bills Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. (submitted photo/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:26 AM ET

New $5 and $10 bills were released Thursday to make their way into Canadians' wallets.

The move to polymer bills started in 2009 and the $5 and $10 notes are the final two bills to be released.

The $5 bill features Canadian robotic inventions such as the Canadarm and Dextre, Canada's robotic handyman on board the International Space Station, and carries the portrait of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The $10 bill highlights the history of rail in Canada and features a portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald.

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield attended the $5 bill's release at the Canadian Space Agency in Saint-Hubert, Que., with Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.

"These leading-edge notes are not only hard to counterfeit, but they are also designed to be easy to check. All five denominations in the Frontiers series carry the same security features that help Canadians verify them with ease and ensure that counterfeiting levels in Canada remain very low," Poloz said.

The $10 bill was unveiled simultaneously at Vancouver's train station by deputy governor Tiff Macklem and Via Rail president and CEO Marc Laliberte.

"They last longer than paper notes, which will save millions of dollars, since fewer polymer notes will have to be printed," Macklem said. "Fewer notes produced means fewer notes transported and this means a reduced impact on the Canadian environment. Plus, polymer notes will be recycled."