The Penny

The Penny

I was traveling to Buffalo NY to see my mom.   To get there, I cross into Canada at Port Huron/Sarnia.   Driving across canada is a fun adventure and I know the roads well.   I can drive straight across without stopping, but I usually stop on the other side of London at the rest area.   This is near Woodstock on the 401.

The OnRoute service plazas are super clean, well lit, comfortable seating, good restrooms and a variety of foods.   On this stop I just wanted coffee.   I got in line at Tim Horton's.   I ordered my coffee.   I had some Canadian coins from a previous trip and my bill was like $2.52.   I had the toonie ($2 dollar Canadian coin) and two quarters.   I was looking for the two pennies when the cashier said, you don't need them

I assumed there was a penny tray like at all stores in the US and looked for one.   Not there.   The cashier took the next order.  Then it hit me, Canada has phased out the penny.   All amounts are rounded to the nearest nickel.  Nice.   Of course, when it first happens, it does give you pause.   I imagine it also hits when you buy something and the price is rounded UP...Ouch, but then again, it is only a couple of pennies.   And in Canada, you don't have to carry pennies with you.  Less change.   Oh wait, but you have to carry Loonies and Toonies with you, since the smallest paper bill denomination is the Five Dollar bill.   Oh my.

Turns out the Canadians understand that it costs more to produce a penny then it is actually worth!  So it makes CENTS not to produce and just round prices off.    Now, we have heard in the US that this is also true, but we continue to hang onto our pennies.   Seems silly to do that.

Canada is recycling their pennies and all of this makes economical sense.    Perhaps some day the US will catch on.

In the meantime, we can all be picking up or dropping off extra pennies at the places we shop for someone else to use.   At least we are sharing.