Meet some of the CN Tower climbers helping fundraise $1 million for conservation

WWF’s first-ever CN Tower Climb for Nature took place in 1991. Since then, more than 135,000 people (!) have ascended the landmark’s 1,776 steps. From a mother-daughter fundraising duo and a wildlife-loving Bachelorette alum to a Deadpool dead ringer, what all of these climbers have in common is a desire to protect wildlife and their habitats.

Feeling inspired? There’s still time to register for the CN Tower Climb for Nature, taking place on April 15 or 16.

Blake Moynes wearing safari gear, looking forward.
Blake Moynes (c) Jess Donnelly

“Ever since I was a kid, I always thought World Wildlife Fund was the coolest because of their work to protect animals in more than 100 countries around the globe, and right here in Canada.

Sure, the number of steps seems a little bit daunting, but not as daunting as it will be to try to reverse wildlife loss and combat climate change if we don’t act.” –  Blake Moynes, a Bachelorette alum and conservationist from Hamilton, Ont., has travelled around the world to support environmental causes and charities. Click here to join his team of wildlife warriors as they take on the tower together April 16.

Mikayla and Maria Flikkema pose together by a wintery forest.
Mikayla (left) and Maria (right) are climbing together for the fifth time. (c) Maria Flikkema.

“While I had always been aware of the state of our environment, I didn’t realize just how serious it was until I watched the movie Two Brothers when I was 12 years old. The weight of the situation really hit me, and I decided that I had to do something to make a difference. I became vegetarian, did what I could to reduce the amount of plastic I was using, and decided to sign up for the climb with my mom.

Since then, we have been able to raise over $16,000. I love the opportunity the climb gives us to benefit the planet together, and it’s something I am able to look forward to every year!” –  Mikayla Flikkema on how a film about tigers first sparked her passion for conservation and climbing.

“My inspiration to do the climb each year comes from my daughter Mikayla. We did our first climb in 2017 after she said she wanted to do something to help protect the animals. While I personally enjoy the climb itself as a physical challenge, Mikayla is very enthusiastic about the fundraising, and she promotes the climb and collects donations from every person that she meets!

Thanks for being my inspiration and my motivation to keep climbing, Mikayla!” –  Maria Flikkema, the other half of Team M&M, on how family keeps her climbing year after year.

Reece David
(c) Reece David

“I’ve always loved participating in WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature. It’s a fun event, the volunteers are incredible and WWF does critical work for wildlife during these difficult times for the nature and the environment. I was inspired to follow in the footsteps of my mom and grandfather when I was much younger and am always happy to step up for nature!

It’s a fun goal to focus on every year to stay in shape to conquer the CN Tower and raise money for a great cause. I’m very excited the event is back and can’t wait to see everyone there!–  Reece David, a long-time CN Tower Climber who did a virtual climb during the pandemic dressed as Deadpool (and got a like from Ryan Reynolds himself!). Watch that video here and show Reece some support.

(c) Melissa Grelo

“I’m asking you to help conserve this planet and help conserve really sensitive ecosystems right here in Canada. It’s a ton of fun, it’s a great day out, and you’re helping nature and wildlife thrive.” –
Melissa Grelo, WWF-Canada board member and one of the hosts of The Social. Melissa is taking on the tower’s 144 floors for the second time. Donate to Melissa’s Team Soulmates or step up for nature by creating your own climb team.

Jason Barlow running up the CN Tower steps during a past CN Tower Climb event
Jason Barlow reaching the top of the CN Tower in 2018 (c) James Carpenter/WWF-Canada

“The first year I climbed the CN Tower, I was actually already trying to get fit. I had been climbing stairs for six or seven months already. I made it up in 14 minutes and 59 seconds. That was lucky. My goal this year is to do it in under 15 minutes again, but I’m quite a few years older.

“You don’t have to have the best time to enjoy the experience. Everyone is cheering everyone else on. It’s not an experience everyone gets to complete in a lifetime and being able to do it year after year is rewarding.”  Jason Barlow, on what motivated him to first climb the CN Tower and what keeps him coming back. One of our top fundraisers, Jason has raised $1900 so far and aims to raise $1.50 for every one of the 1,776 steps. You can support his climb here.

Mojdeh Akhbari gazes up at the CN Tower wearing a shirt with a cheetah cub on it.
(c) Mojdeh Akhbari

“I do it in memory of an Asiatic cheetah cub named “Pirouz.” He was one of the endangered cheetahs born in captivity in Iran in May 2022. Two other cubs born with him died that same month, but Pirouz survived at a time when only a dozen members of the species are left in the wild. He was a symbol of hope and many Iranians had been closely following his daily life. Unfortunately, during 10 months of his life, he suffered from some health complications and died in Feb 2023 due to kidney failure.

“We only have one planet to live. So, let’s help save our planet together.” –  Mojdeh Akhbari, a member of First National Financial LP’s climb team on why she’s climbing for endangered species. You can support Mojdeh’s climb in memory of Pirouz here.

Megan Leslie smiling in the outdoors.
(c) Meghan Tansey Whitton

“I’m inspired by the overwhelming number of supporters who have come out to climb and fundraise with us over the last 30 years. 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.

When you climb the CN Tower, or you donate to someone who is, you’ll help WWF-Canada restore and protect habitats across the country. Step by step, floor by floor, together we can halt and reverse wildlife loss.” – Megan Leslie, WWF-Canada’s president and CEO, on why you should register now to climb the CN Tower on April 15 or 16.

Join the #CNTowerClimb for Nature

Funds raised for WWF’s CN Tower Climb will help us bring back nature, reverse wildlife loss, fight climate change and regenerate Canada.

What are you waiting for? Register to climb the CN Tower on April 15 or 16 today. Every step you take and dollar your raise is a step forward for wildlife.