So long, penny. It’s been nice knowing you.
The final penny ever to be produced shot off the production line at Winnipeg’s Royal Canadian Mint on Friday.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was in the city for a ceremony that saw him strike the last five pennies to be made.
“It was very cool,” Flaherty said, when asked by a reporter what it was like to stamp the final maple leaf on the dated currency.
“I remember having pennies and buying bubblegum with them. Then I can remember a little later on… my mother catching me throwing a penny in the garbage, because I couldn’t buy anything with it. So, times have changed.”
The federal government announced in its budget in March it would cease production of the coin, which costs Canada 1.6 cents to produce. The elimination of the coin will save Ottawa roughly $11 million annually.
Flaherty encouraged Canadians to donate their spare pennies to charities, including Habitat for Humanity, which will be accepting penny donations at any Old Navy store location.
The last penny produced will go to Ottawa’s Currency Museum to be put on display. A batch of one million new pennies will be made available to the public as collector’s items shortly by the Mint.