Record-setting tower climber to defend his title at WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature

CN Tower Climb

Shaun Stephens-Whale is the fastest climber in the fundraising event’s three-decade history, tackling the 1,776 steps in under 10 minutes.

TORONTO, March 7, 2023 – After three years off, WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature is making its comeback on April 15 and 16 — and so is Shaun Stephens-Whale, the event’s fastest climber.

After breaking our previous record in 2017 by climbing the 1,776 stairs in just 9 minutes and 54.9 seconds, the competitive tower runner and obstacle course racer from Squamish, B.C. is returning to defend his title and beat his own time.

“Last time, my goal was to break 10 minutes. I’m happy to have achieved that and look forward to racing the CN Tower with WWF-Canada again this spring. I think there’s a lot of potential for lowering the time I set — it will be exciting to see other tower runners and athletes from different fitness backgrounds get after it,” says Stephens-Whale.

He’s also climbed some of the tallest buildings in the world, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Empire State Building in New York, Rainier Tower in Seattle, Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas and Etihad Tower in the United Arab Emirates.

Shaun Stephens-Whale at the top of the CN Tower stairwell. after climbing in 9 minutes and 54.09
Shaun Stephens-Whale at the top of the CN Tower stairwell. (c) WWF-Canada

Since 2017, Stephens-Whale has switched his focus to obstacle course racing, winning the 2021 Spartan Canadian Series and finishing third at the 2022 Spartan North American Championships as well as being a member of the Canadian Mountain Running team.

Living on the rugged West Coast of British Columbia, Stephens-Whale has been able to use the mountains as a training ground for improving his uphill running. As a result, he has had his fair share of wildlife encounters — including a stand-off with a black bear during a run while working as a Wildland Firefighter — and gained a strong appreciation for nature.

“It can seem a bit overwhelming when you read about species extinction, climate change and the degradation of our natural environment. However, you can, quite literally, take it step by step with WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature.”

The all-time record for climbing the CN Tower is 7:52, set in 1989 by Brendan Keenoy.


How to register:

  • Visit ca/cntowerto register as an individual or with a team.
  • Climbers wishing to compete with Shaun Stephens-Whale for the fastest time can register for the Elite Climb on Sunday, April 16 at 7 a.m. There is an additional registration fee and space is limited.

About WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature:

  • WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature is a two-day event bringing together thousands of people to raise funds that will help halt and reverse wildlife loss.
  • The climb takes place on Saturday, April 15 from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and Sunday, April 16, 2023, from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Since WWF-Canada’s first-ever climb in 1991, more than 135,000 people have stepped up for wildlife and helped deliver big conservation results ranging from nearly tripling Nepal’s wild tiger population to advancing protection for hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of critical habitat for Arctic species.
  • The need for WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature is greater than ever. Global wildlife populations have declined by 69 per cent, on average, in the last 50 years.


More about Shaun Stephens-Whale:

  • At age 12, he climbed the tallest building in Vancouver at the time, the Sheraton Wall Centre, for the B.C. Lung Association.
  • His fascination for tall buildings led him to the University of British Columbia, where he studied Civil Engineering while competing as a varsity athlete in track and field and cross-country. He then went on to complete a degree in physics and astronomy at the University of Victoria where he became more involved in mountain running and obstacle course racing.
  • He has also been involved with the Urban Grind at the Harbour Centre in Vancouver: a stair climb which provided a fun and affordable way for thousands of locals to climb the stairwell of this iconic building.
  • He currently works as a contractor for a local geotechnical company and is opening a Ninja Gym later this year.


About World Wildlife Fund Canada 
WWF-Canada is committed to equitable and effective conservation actions that restore nature, reverse wildlife loss and fight climate change. We draw on scientific analysis and Indigenous guidance to ensure all our efforts connect to a single goal: a future where wildlife, nature and people thrive. For more information visit

For further information 
Emily Vandermeer, communications specialist
[email protected]