2021 was the 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Insulin

Hundreds of millions of lives have been saved globally thanks to the pioneering work of the Discovery Team and the subsequent ever-improving methods of diagnosis, treatment and continuing care.

Hundreds of countries
celebrated the Discovery

This discovery, made in late 1921, at the University of Toronto, is Canada’s gift to the world. 2021 was a special opportunity for all Canadians to honour and celebrate this lasting legacy.

We put our best foot forward on the world stage with many new initiatives

Walk In The Footsteps Of Banting Event

Major Celebration Event at the Banting Homestead Heritage Park, birthplace of Sir Frederick Banting

  • Six 3 hour ‘repeat’ sessions over 3 days
  • Fully subscribed; over 200 participants

Rural Diabetes Coalition

Prevent Youth-onset type 2 diabetes

  • Target 150,000 ES & HS students
  • 3 District Health Units
  • 4 Counties
  • 38 Municipalities
  • 8 School Boards
  • ‘Collective Capability’ research in progress by 3 undergrad Interns


  • Hess-Fischl A. Sadleir D., Youth-onset type 2 diabetes prevention; What is missing? Submission to U of T Temerty FacMed & School of Public Health, March 2021
  • 5FBLF, Youth-onset Diabetes in Indigenous Youth, NIDA Newsletter, Summer, 2021
  • Sadleir D., 100th Anniversary Discovery of Insulin & Current Youth- onset Diabetes Landscope, Diabetes Communicator, Fall 2021
  • SFBLF, seeking action for creation of a National Diabetes Registry for Youth, submissions to Prime Minister, Auditor General, Minister of Health, Canada

30 Education Resources Developed

  • 6 new Videos
  • 3D Virtual Tour of the BHHP & DMEC
  • 8 new Interior Exhibits
  • new Outdoor Exhibits
  • ‘Salute to the Discovery Team’ monument
  • 100 Years of Lives Saved’ brochure
  • Commemorative Medallion
  • 4 Interactive Webinars for schools
  • 6 online self-scoring quizzes

12 Awards Provided

  • 10 Education Awards for Grade 12 students
  • 2 Post-grad Travel Awards

Walk in the Footsteps of Banting Event

This free event, hosted by SFBLF at the birthplace of Sir Frederick Banting as 2 ‘repeat’ sessions for each of August 20, 21 & 22, 2021 was great success and fully subscribed with over 200 participants.

A new, permanent monument, ‘Salute to the Discovery Team’, designed and commissioned by SFBLF, was unveiled on Friday, August 20, 2021. A limited edition Commemorative Medallion and Brochure were created and provided to all attendees.



‘Salute to the Discovery Team’
Monument 2021

SFBLF Limited Edition
Medallion 2021


20 Volunteers from Alliston Lions and Rotary Clubs and 2 Banting Memorial HS students helped make it possible.

Sincere Thanks to All



Other Canadian Events and Actions

Dozens of events were hosted by others and new educational resources and commemorative recognition pieces developed during 2021; for example:

EVENTS (face-to-face or virtual)

Date Title Host or Producer & Location
March 5 Three Pillars of the Insulin Story (Virtual) Sanofi Canada
March 12 Living with diabetes during COVID McMaster Diabetes Association
April 14 100 Years of Insulin – Impact on Lives (Virtual) DAC & BBDC, U of T
April 15-16 The 100th Anniversary Scientific Symposium (Virtual) Temerty Faculty of Medicine, U of T
May 30 Beyond Insulin: Diabetes Research across Canada RCIScience
August 20-22 Walk in the Footsteps of Banting SFBLF
October 16 James Bertram Collip Monument Unveiling Hastings County Historical Society
November 1 Banting, Bliss, and Beyond: (Face-to-face) Toronto Medical Historical Club


EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES (virtual tours, videos, articles, exhibitions, lectures)

Date Title Host or Producer & Location
January / on-going Insulin100: Celebrating a Century of Health Innovation at the University of Toronto (comprehensive timeline) University of Toronto
January / on-going Virtual Tour of Banting’s Birthplace (virtual tour) SFBLF
January / on-going Quizzes for the 100th Anniversary Celebration’ (quiz) SFBLF
January / on-going Insulin 100: Inspiration and Innovation (website) Defining Moments Canada
January 29 / on-going Insulin 100 – The Centenary of Insulin Discovery (animated video) Dr. Kenneth NH Cheung, MD
Spring Heritage Minute (movie made for TV) Historica Canada, Eli Lilly, Novo-Nordisk


COMMEMORATIVE RECOGNITION (medallions, monuments, memorabilia, awards)

Date Title Host or Producer & Location
April 15 100th Anniversary Commemorative Stamp Canada Post
June 14 Legacy Education Awards (winners announced) SFBLF
July 29 $2 Commemorative Coin – Discovery of Insulin Royal Canadian Mint
August 20 Monument Salute the Insulin Discovery Team (unveil) SFBLF
November 12 Discovery of Insulin Plaque (re-installation) Parks Canada, Temerty FacMed U of T


Take the ‘100th Anniversary Challenges’

Can you do better than friends and colleagues?



We depend on donations to pursue our goal of fighting diabetes and preserving a legacy.



‘Walk in the Footsteps of Banting’, a face-to-face event at Banting’s birthplace, and ‘Insulin to Innovation’, a virtual event, are joint initiatives of

The ‘Walk in the Footsteps of Banting’ event was jointly funded by



New information exhibits at the SFBLF Diabetes Management and Information Centre at the Banting Homestead Heritage Park and related Celebration assets are funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.