Also known as the “multicoloured series”, because of the layers of tints beneath the dominant colour, this series included portraits of former Canadian prime ministers to enhance national identity. Canadian scenic vignettes were created for the backs of the notes, and colourful wavy patterns were introduced to make the notes difficult to copy. With the exception of the $1 note, the use of black ink was abandoned.
The words “this note is legal tender” replaced the phrase “will pay to the bearer on demand,” reflecting the fact that Canada’s currency had long ceased to be redeemable in gold. The $1,000 denomination was not included in this issue.
The Bank of Canada also introduced a modified version of the $20 and $5 notes, in 1978 and 1979 respectively. These notes were redesigned to accomodate currency‑sorting machines. For this reason, the serial numbers were rendered in black and moved to the back of the new notes in place of the words “BANK OF CANADA ‑ BANQUE DU CANADA”. At the same time, other elements, such as the colour of the $20 note, were modified to make it easier for users to distinguish between it and the $1 note.
Unlike previous series, the 1969-79 series did not have the same date of issue for all denominations, but rather the year in which the printing plate was produced.