1984 represented the 450th Anniversary of French Explorer Jacques Cartier's first European landing at Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec. To honor the occasion, a circulating commemorative with a nickel composition was authorized for minting along side the traditional Voyager Dollar.
The obverse, designed by Arnold Machin, features the bust of Queen Elizabeth the II facing right. On the outer periphery are the words “CANADA 1982 DOLLAR” and “ELIZABETH II”. Surrounding the overall design is a circle of beads.
The reverse, designed by Hector Greville and engraved by Victor Cote, prominently an image of the Cartier landing. A representation of the cross planted at the landing by Cartier is behind the explorer and features the French coat of arms emblem at center while in the background is Gaspé Bay with Cartier's fleet. Below the design is a banner with the inscription “1534 JACQUES CARTIER 1984”.