Currency Exchange Toronto

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How to do Physical Cash Currency Exchange at Each Bank

Almost all of the major big five banks will offer currency exchange at the branch level, mainly for US dollars.  For other currencies you need to contact your branch so they can order it for you.

TD has a specialized foreign exchange centre in downtown Toronto (near the TD tower located at 55 King St. West, Toronto, ON) and they focus exclusively on currency exchange and precious metals. 

You can give them a call at (416) 216-6868 to see if they have your currency in stock and how much they charge for it.  This is not a bad idea if you must have physical cash currency.  If you are buying USD of $5,000 or more, there are better options for you.

The process for physical cash exchange is at a TD foreign exchange centre is as follows:

    1. Call TD at (416) 216-6868 and see if they have your currency
    2. Find out their exchange rate
    3. Tell them you are coming in to they can put the money aside for you (get a name of a TD representative so when you walk in you can speak to them directly)
    4. Ask them if you can give them physical cash or a cheque or a draft
    5. Their hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm EST.
    6. You will likely need to show a piece of ID for regulatory purposes.
    7. If you have a small amount of foreign currency to buy, then TD is a really good option even if their rates are not the absolute best.  The reason is that TD is safe and will give you “good money” and you know where they are located, when they are open.  The excess cost you pay to TD to buy foreign currency on a small dollar amount can be really small.  Like if you need 100 Euros and TD is more expensive by 1% than another place, the savings is only $1 to go somewhere else so it’s not even worth it to go look anywhere else.  If you are buying 10,000 Euros, then you want to call around to see the savings.


Physical Cash Currency Exchange Requirements

Exchanging physical cash is more expensive than exchanging currency electronically.  This is because the place you are exchanging it with has to carry inventory and has higher overhead costs such as rent.

You will also need to provide ID when you exchange physical cash and explain where you got the money from and what you want to do with the currency.  Make sure you are going to a reputable place to exchange currency.


Steps for Ordering Currency at the Bank

The step by step instructions to ordering physical cash at your bank is as follows.

  1. Call your branch and make sure you are not speaking to a call centre in Philippines or India.  Get transferred to your local branch!
  2. Tell them how much foreign currency you need and when you need it by.  Ask if they can order it in by then.
  3. Get a sample of their rates and compare it to online rates. 
  4. Take down the name of the person you spoke to and order it.  They might ask you to pick it up from another branch.
  5. Pick up the currency.
  6. You will likely need to show a piece of ID.