Living Legacy: supporting wildlife then, now and tomorrow

David Moffat has been living a life true to his values since childhood.  

Growing up, he recalls long weekends spent in provincial parks and vacations travelling across the country. His parents often took their young family into the woods, allowing them to connect with wildlife throughout the seasons.  

Side by side photos of a young boy holding out his arm to feed a bird, and the same man feeding a bird as an adult.
David Moffat feeding birds as a child and in the present © David Moffat

One of David’s most magical and memorable experiences was sitting at a picnic table with a friend when a herd of caribou walked through their site, streaming past both sides of the table as they watched on, transfixed.

As a child and a teenager, David participated in Cubs and Scouts and became a member of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists (now Ontario Nature).  

When he started working, he researched and began giving to environmental charities to make sure that everyone could enjoy the natural world. David has been a monthly donor to WWF-Canada since 1996 and has chosen to leave the organization a gift in his Will, which is another powerful way to contribute to a cause that matters to him. He hopes it will be used to fight climate change, whatever that looks like, in the future. 

“Forest fires have always been there, but nothing like the extent we’re seeing,” says David, referencing the unprecedented wildfires that are sweeping across the country. “I’m hopeful that this is a wake-up call.” 

He also hopes that organizations like WWF can help educate people about climate change and mitigate its impacts by continuing to push for the protection of the environment.  

“That’s why I donate; so that the money can be used for those purposes.” 

His native plant garden in Toronto, Ontario © David Moffat

At his home in Toronto, David gives back by cultivating a native plant garden for wildlife. For 30 years, he’s been studying native plants, talking to local garden centres and replacing lawn with hardy native flowers and shrubs.  

“When I started going to nurseries near me with my list [of native plants], I would get a few funny looks. But I’ve noticed, year by year, the ones I frequent carry plants with little signs on them indicating they are native.” 

It’s not just the garden centres. As time goes on, David says, “I’ve seen a concerted effort to protect things. When I first started walking in the ravine system it was overgrown with invasive plants. Now, in the last several years I’ve seen small areas roped off with regeneration signs. We’re pulling out the invasive species and encouraging local native species to grow back.” 

It’s another sign that we can turn things around; that together, people can make a positive difference for nature.  

David Moffatt has loved nature his whole life. And his legacy, true to his values, will be its conservation. By choosing to leave a gift in his Will, David has joined a growing movement of over three million Canadians who are using the power of ethical wills to pass down assets and values to future generations and make a big difference in this world. You too can let your love for nature and wildlife endure. To learn more, visit