students from the CNIB Deafblind literacy program went to the Royal Canadian
Mint in Ottawa. Each student had the services of an intervenor, and our guide made
special arrangements to allow us to touch coins and feel the process of what
happens to a coin as it goes through processing stages.
signed to the students what they saw taking place in the area below that could
be viewed from the floor we walked along. Our guide also told us interesting facts,
which intervenors signed to the students.
learned that the Ottawa branch (the first branch) of the Canadian Mint came
into existence in 1908. When the facility first opened, it had 61 employees. The
first coin ever struck at the Mint was a fifty-cent piece.
Mint’s facility in Ottawa is currently responsible for producing collector and
commemorative coins, bullion in the form of coins, bars, wafers and grain, medals
and medallions. The Mint is also proud to have produced the athlete medals of
the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games and, most recently, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic
and Paralympic Winter Games. The Mint produced 615 Olympic and 399 Paralympic
medals at their headquarters in Ottawa for the 2010 Winter Games (that included
Image: CNIB Client feels a 24k gold bar at Royal Canadian Mint.
ended our tour in the Royal Canadian Mint store, where we were able to lift a
bar of gold that weighed 40 pounds – it’s worth three million dollars! We felt
what the coins look like before they get stamped and we felt collector coins
that were cased in a plastic (which is never removed if you want to retain full
value of a coin). Our group learned a lot and gained a sense of pride that
Canada is a world leader in the Mint industry.
By guest blogger Penny Leclair