Ian’s Story: Sailing 1,300 kilometres for nature

The past year or so has been incredibly challenging, but even that hasn’t stopped our champions of nature from protecting wildlife and habitat. This week is dedicated to YOU, our supporters. Thanks for letting us tell your stories and inspire a future generation of environmentalists. 

Ian Robertson, a retired math teacher from Grimsby, ON, is a legacy donor, monthly supporter, CN Tower climber and advocate for wildlife. Oh, but that’s not all.

This summer, Ian will also be taking on an incredible challenge to raise funds for WWF-Canada with the ‘Old Man in a Boat Tour

Ian Robertson sailing
© Ian Robertson

This champion of nature will sail and row 1,300 kilometres (!) across Lake Ontario, the Trent-Severn Watershed, Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and then along the Welland canal and back to Grimsby.

His goal is to raise $10,000 for WWF-Canada and will match donor contributions up to $8,000, which he’s been saving up to do for four years now.

From designing and building his boat and forming his sailing strategy to ensuring strict COVID protocols are being followed and learning land acknowledgements along his route, Ian’s done a lot of research and preparation for the tour.

In Ian’s final year of teaching at Ridley College (2007-2008), he organized seven CN Tower climb groups, raising over $10,000 for WWF-Canada! This impressive feat inspired his fundraising goal for his boat tour.

“In all the planning and working towards the tour, I have come to realize that there has been a journey of self-discovery — especially around land — before the actual journey,” he says. “I don’t think I am the same person who started all this planning over four years ago, but I am definitely all the better for it.”

With a champion like Ian by our side, WWF-Canada can continue to protect wildlife and nature.

Consider supporting Ian’s fundraising page and keep up with Ian’s journey!

With your support, we can continue to protect nature and wildlife right here in Canada and beyond. Your gift will help species in decline recover – now and in the future. Consider becoming a monthly donor today.