Pennies annoying, billions still made

“Dealing with customers’ (small) change is annoying.”

Stuart Ross’ upper lip twitched with annoyance.


“I don’t deal with that stuff. See,” he says of a pile of small change, then pointing to a Bulldog Coffee’s menu of tax-included $3 lattes, espressos and gourmet coffee. “It’s all round numbers for a reason. Next time, don’t come with anything less than a quarter.”

While the Canadian Mint prepares to imminently release a study on the country’s coin usage trends — which is expected to restart the axe-the-penny debate — this Toronto barista decided to ban all small change in his trendy café years ago.

Jordan Wenzel, a barista at nearby Lettieri café, comes back every day and agrees with Ross’s policy.

“Dealing with customers’ (small) change is annoying,” Wenzel says.

Periodically throughout the year, the mint, Department of Finance and Bank of Canada meet to discuss coin usage issues. Despite a public consensus pennies are annoying, according to Christine Aquino, the senior manager of corporate communications for the Canadian Mint, the single cent coins remain wanted.

“Based on market demand, the production of the penny is still quite healthy. We produced over a billion last year,” she said. Last year, the mint produced more pennies, nickels and dimes than ever before.

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