Media Releases

U of T’s medical contributions to be featured on new $100 bills

June 20, 2011

TORONTO, ON – The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s his­toric con­tri­bu­tion to the dis­cov­ery of insulin for dia­betes is one of the high-pro­file inno­va­tions being fea­tured on the new Bank of Cana­da poly­mer bank notes being issued this fall. The $100 note will be issued in time for the 90th anniver­sary of the dis­cov­ery of insulin by U of T’s renowned researchers Charles Best and Fred­er­ick Bant­i­ng.

The note fea­tures images that focus on Cana­di­an inno­va­tions in the field of med­i­cine: from pio­neer­ing the dis­cov­ery of insulin to treat dia­betes, to the inven­tion of the pace­mak­er and to the role Cana­di­an researchers have played in map­ping the human genet­ic code. U of T’s Wil­fred Gor­don Bigelow of the Temer­ty Temer­ty Fac­ul­ty of Med­i­cine was a mem­ber of the team that designed the first elec­tric pace­mak­er in 1951 and helped pave the way for the mod­ern implantable car­diac pace­mak­er. 

Sir Robert Bor­den, Prime Min­is­ter of Cana­da between 1911 and 1920, in an updat­ed por­trait, remains on the front of the note.

The Bank of Cana­da unveiled its new poly­mer bank note series today at its head office in Ottawa. Infor­ma­tion on the poly­mer mate­r­i­al and advanced new secu­ri­ty fea­tures was released, along with the images and designs of the soon-to-be-issued $100 and $50 bank notes, and the themes for the remain­ing notes in the series.

Min­is­ter of Finance Jim Fla­her­ty and RCMP Com­mis­sion­er William J. S. Elliott joined Bank of Cana­da Gov­er­nor Mark Car­ney for the unveil­ing cer­e­mo­ny.

Min­is­ter Fla­her­ty spoke of the impor­tance of cash as a means of pay­ment in the dai­ly lives of Cana­di­ans, adding this is why it is impor­tant Cana­di­ans see their sto­ry reflect­ed in the designs.

“These bank notes evoke the country’s spir­it of inno­va­tion, and their designs cel­e­brate Canada’s achieve­ments at home, around the world and in space,” Fla­her­ty said. “Bank notes are cul­tur­al touch­stones that reflect and cel­e­brate our Cana­di­an expe­ri­ence.”

The $100 note will be issued in Novem­ber 2011. A new $50 note, which will be issued in March of 2012, fea­tures images of the Cana­di­an Coast Guard Ship Amund­sen in the North, reflect­ing Canada’s lead­ing role in Arc­tic research. It also evokes the part that Canada’s north­ern frontier—with its vast­ness and splendour—has played in shap­ing our cul­tur­al iden­ti­ty. An updat­ed por­trait of William Lyon Macken­zie King, the Cana­di­an Prime Min­is­ter between 1921 and 1930 and again from 1935 to 1948, is on the front of the note.

The notes will con­tain a num­ber of unique fea­tures that expand the fron­tiers of bank note secu­ri­ty and will make them dif­fi­cult to coun­ter­feit but easy to check. Most promi­nent are two trans­par­ent areas: the larg­er area extends from the top to the bot­tom of the note and con­tains com­plex holo­graph­ic fea­tures; the oth­er is in the shape of a maple leaf.

“The Bank’s objec­tive with every new series is to pro­duce a bank note that Cana­di­ans can use with the high­est con­fi­dence,” said Gov­er­nor Mark Car­ney. “The Bank is com­bin­ing inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies from around the world with Cana­di­an inge­nu­ity to cre­ate a unique series of bank notes that is more secure, eco­nom­ic and bet­ter for the envi­ron­ment.”

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Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Media Rela­tions