Groovy Hippie Social Experiments

Here’s another curious item handed out on the street to an unsuspecting child (me).

It’s a Rochdale College Dollar (or Buck, or…nameless unit of non-currency for anti-capitalist folks who didn’t believe in money…oh heck, I have no idea what you’d call it).


Rochdale College (1968-1975) was an experimental co-operative residence on the edge of the University of Toronto, established around the time that the now chi-chi nearby Yorkville was known as “Hippieville.” The College’s communal living spaces were known as “ashrams.” It was the kind of place that my straight-laced parents walked by very quickly (but not quickly enough to avoid having their kids handed fake dollar bills promoting the place).

This Rochdale currency just says “One.” One what? Dunno…but it says it is “negotiable for cooperative services,” so any attempt to quantify its “value” would be negated by its non-absolute nature. It’s anti-currency. Also, it has two different serial numbers.

Rochdale became a hotbed of counter-culture, free-thinking experimentation, and of course, drugs (if you look closely, there are pot leaves on the back of the bill).


Rochdale’s demise has been blamed on a combination of an out-of-control drug scene and bankruptcy due to residents who didn’t pay their rent.

Since they printed their own money—with an attractive marijuana border—that had no actual monetary value,  you could probably have seen that coming.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s