From Toronto Lawyer to Swim For Change Leader embarking on 3 Open Water Swims for Charity

From Toronto Lawyer to Swim For Change Leader embarking on 3 Open Water Swims for Charity

Jessica DaSilva

Posted on June 30 2021

As I sit on my porch at the Lake House, I reminisce on my interview with Toronto lawyer and Partner at Blakeney Henneberry Murphy and Galligan, Robert McGlashan, as he is set to embark on three intense open water marathon swims to raise $300,000 for three Canadian charities, with a goal of donating $100,000 to each cause.

McGlashan's first swim is to cross Lake Erie in support of Shelter Movers. This particular swim is scheduled for July 1, 2021 with a route from Sturgeon Point, New York to Crystal Beach, Fort Erie. The proceeds from this swim will support Shelter Movers, a national, volunteer-powered charitable organization providing moving and storage services free to women and children fleeing abuse.

His second swim this summer will take place at Lake Ontario on July 31, 2021 with the proceeds from this swim being donated to WWF-Canada, Canada’s largest international conservation organization that currently has a number of initiatives on the go focusing on Canada's waters, including shoreline clean-ups and a campaign focused on banning ships from dumping waste in marine protected areas. 

The third Swim for Change will take place on August 28, 2021 at Lake Louise in support of Mountain Gorilla Conservation Society, a volunteer-based organization dedicated to raising funds for resources necessary to help protect the world’s wild gorillas. McGlashan’s swim attempt at an altitude of 5,740 feet has never been completed before.


While catching up with Robert McGlashan and learning more about the 3 swims for charity, I got to learn about other open water swims Robert competed in such as the Straits of Magellan in Chile, at a temperature of 6 degrees, to the Alcatraz Island (USA) swim back in March 2019. Robert mentioned that this swim should be similar to his upcoming swim in Lake Louise.

Robert has been swimming his whole life. After swimming competitively in high school and during his undergraduate degree, he decided to compete in an open water 10k race. After that was completed, Robert found that swimming brought all the things he truly likes together - travel, the outdoors, and fitness. With hopes of a ‘dream swim’ to go back to Chile and do a ‘double crossing’ swim, meaning he would swim to the island and back. Not to mention, no one has done this swim either as it can only be done twice in a year once the Chile Navy clear the waters, as it can get pretty dangerous. Once hearing all these epic swims, I questioned Robert and asked if he had any regrets. His response was simply, ‘no’ if anything while during an open water swim and stuck in a whirlpool it is best to calm down and be confident.

Robert is a remarkable hero in our community. And I guess, the real question here is, How does he function best? I got the opportunity to ask how Robert does it all, between training - both swimming in several weather conditions to weight training, to serving as the Vice President of Great Lakes Open Water (GLOW), an Ontario open water and swimming marathon training company dedicated to getting people more in touch with the water, and more engaged with the Great Lakes and ultimately protecting them. Although time management can be tricky for Robert, all of them are things that he likes doing and are all rewarding. When I asked Robert, ‘What is something that you say to yourself each day to get you up and really help the community?’ Robert mentioned two things: “Try to live each day with passion and spend your day trying to make a positive impact, even if it's a small one.” That really stuck with me and my team at HumbleBerry. Robert really is an inspiring human being, and is truly making a difference in our community while raising awareness and having all donations and proceeds going directly to the charities.

HumbleBerry is proud to feature someone like Robert McGlashan, a hero that encourages others to do good each day. For more information on Robert McGlashan and Swim for Change, please visit his website: 


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