In Canada, a penny is a coin worth one cent, or 1⁄100 of a dollar. According to the Royal Canadian Mint, the official national term of the coin is the “one-cent piece”, but in practice the terms penny and cent predominate. Originally, “penny” referred to a two-cent coin. When the two-cent coin was discontinued, penny took over as the new one-cent coin’s name. Penny was likely readily adopted because the previous coinage in Canada (up to 1858) was the British monetary system, where Canada used British pounds, shillings, and pence as coinage alongside U.S. decimal coins and Spanish milled dollars.
In Canadian French, the penny is called a cent, which is spelled the same way as the French word for “hundred” but pronounced like the English word (homonym to “sent”). Slang terms include cenne, cenne noire, or sou noir (black penny), although common Quebec French usage is sou.
Production of the penny ceased in May 2012, and the Royal Canadian Mint ceased the distribution of them as of February 4, 2013. However, like all discontinued currency in the Canadian monetary system, the coin remains legal tender. Once distribution of the coin ceased, though, vendors no longer were expected to return pennies as change for cash purchases, and were encouraged to round purchases to the nearest nickel. Non-cash transactions are still denominated to the penny.