Because of the discovery of Insulin at the University of Toronto in the early 1920’s millions of lives have been prolonged

Insulin plaque University of Toronto © Lucy Izon

Insulin plaque University of Toronto © Lucy Izon

Toronto, Ontario – Here in the ivy-cloaked stone buildings of the University of Toronto during a record hot summer in the early 1920’s Frederick Banting and Charles Best made one of the twentieth century’s most important medical discoveries – insulin. Along with J.B. Collip and J.J. R McLeod they invented the life-saving process for insulin, which meant that people who’s bodies could not produce enough naturally (diabetics) could now get it from other sources.

Diabetes had been a death sentence, and although this wasn’t a cure the treatment meant diabetics could live long, productive lives. It has yet to be surpassed. Millions of lives have been prolonged.

This plaque honouring the Discovery of Insulin is on the site where the initial work by Banting and Best was done – that was in the Pharmacology Dept of the Old Medical building. That building was demolished and today on the same site on King’s College Circle sits the Faculty of Medicine building,  The Charles H. Best Institute is at 112 College St.

University of Toronto Medical Sciences Building © Lucy Izon

University of Toronto Medical Sciences Building © Lucy Izon

The campus is close to the College St. subway stop. Free student-lead walking tours of the campus leave from Visitor Centre at 25 Kings College Circle. For details call 416 978-5000.

Famous University of Toronto alumni include: Arthur Schawlow (1941) co-inventor of the laser, film director Norman Jewison (1949), and actor Donald Sutherland (1958).


University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, 1 King’s College Cir Toronto, Ontario


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