What My Canadian Tire Money Collection Means to Me

What’s a woman to do when her beloved bill collection goes digital? Take a nostalgic look back at this uniquely Canadian currency.

My Canadian Tire Money CollectionPhoto: Sharon Hartung

A Tip of the Tam to Sandy McTire

As far back as I can remember, I cherished the brightly coloured bills adorned with Sandy McTire in his tam o’shanter and stylized moustache. My dad renovated houses, and on Saturday mornings there was never a question about who would accompany him to the store to pick up more tools or supplies. But, there was always a family squabble about whose turn it was to collect the Canadian Tire money. My dad had one simple rule—if it was a whole dollar coupon it was his, otherwise it was up for debate. My love for Canadian Tire carried on. In high school, I got a job at a local Canadian Tire, and over the years Canadian Tire money funded many Christmas and birthday presents. Who could beat a Canadian Tire discount and the promise of more coupons?

As I got older and moved away from home to start my tech career, my obsession with Canadian Tire money continued. If something could be purchased at Canadian Tire, it was. And that tradition continued even when I changed jobs and cities. Whenever I moved, it seemed every moving box had loose Canadian Tire money lurking at the bottom—it followed me everywhere.

It had such notoriety that Macleans wrote about it in 2017, highlighting that there was even a Canadian Tire Coupon Collector’s Club. Apparently older Canadian Tire money has collector value. It was considered to have enough value that counterfeiters have tried to reproduce it.

The world shifted for me in 2018, when Canadian Tire launched a second loyalty program called Triangle Rewards. I’d have to say something changed for me that day when I realized the digital world might eventually gobble up my beloved Canadian Tire money. With the fate of the paper coupons so unclear, I can’t say I shop at Canadian Tire with the same gusto I used to, but I’ve accepted that this is just the way it is in the digital world.

Thanks for the great memories, Sandy McTire!

Next, take a fond look back at 10 classic TV shows that could only have been made in Canada.

Originally Published in Our Canada