J. Robert Gardiner

Legal and Animal Rights Advocacy

Attended KCCS: 1961/62 – 65/66

Inducted 2023

A man for all seasons with a twinkle in his eye.

J. Robert (Bob) Gardiner burst onto the KCSS scene on its first opening day – not dazzling damsels with football feats; rather, he rose as a man of Arts and Letters, a champion activist, keen to exceed in exploits beyond the mundane. Active in student government, he was the Simpson’s Rep, and edited the Archon in his senior year. Proclaiming in his yearbook blurb he “desired no more delight than to be under sail”, Bob has sailed many horizons since.

He attained his BA in literature and psychology at the University of Toronto, followed by law at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School from ’69 to ‘72. While editor of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal,

Bob’s efforts culminated in creation of a brand-new MBA/LLB combined degree. Bob and his high school sweetheart/wife of 53 years, Jan, worked their way through UofT and through his law school. By age 26, he’d worked as many jobs, among them driving tractor trailers, operating a catering truck business, and shucking coffins and tv sets all night before a 3-hour accounting class. Articled at a mid-sized firm, the firm paid his Bar Admission costs and hired him as a baby lawyer.

As founding partner of Gardiner Miller Arnold LLP, Bob functions as president of its management company, Whereas Inc. His solo legal practice evolved to employ 30; it is now a boutique firm practicing condo, corporate, business, and real estate law.

Adjunct to practicing law, Bob initiated, executive-produced, or ‘lawyerized’ more than 30 TV movies and entertainment events. He acted for “Those Crazy Canucks”, Canada’s World Cup skiers, our highest-ranked tennis players, and swimmers, as well as 15 pro hockey players, various authors, publishers, musicians, and performers. He taught business law at Ryerson University, moderating and lecturing 80 seminars, and published 300 articles and 3,000 legal opinions over his career.

An organizer of The Great Canadian Race from Toronto to Montreal to open the 1976 Olympics, his CN Tower Race concept has raised $20 million+ dollars for charities since 1978. Past President of the Canadian Condominium Institute (Toronto), SCRAP! (a ratepayers’ group) and the Hotel at One King West, he is the Trustee of the Percy M. Gardiner Art Trust and donates colour enlargements to fund the Law Society of Ontario’s Feed the Hungry Program.

As president of LEGHOLD!, the Canadian Association for Humane Trapping, and a director of the Fur Institute of Canada, Bob initiated the ban of steel-jawed leg-hold traps, resulting in 143 trapping and wildlife regulations. His Trapper’s Code of Ethics promotes trapper education, trap research, and International Trap Standards. Bob’s precept: “the use of wildlife must be sustainable and humane” was adopted by 135 countries, the United Nations at the World Conservation Union, and Canada’s Wildlife Guidelines.

A recipient of the Governor General’s Confederation Medal and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for animal welfare, Bob’s been lauded by The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. As a director, VP, and Committee Chair he presided over hundreds of meetings, committing 1500 volunteer days over 30-years.

He invented a life-saving shunt for medical research animals, wrote four farming Codes of Practice and lobbied six revisions of Canada’s Criminal Code concerning crimes against animals. Through the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Bob attended the UN’s COP-15 Biodiversity Framework Conference in Montreal, 2022; at it, 195 nations agreed to protect 30% of their lands and waters by 2030.

A lifetime of adventures across 45 countries include: racing sailboats, windsurfing, powder snow heli-skiing, ballooning, shooting white-water rapids, wilderness trekking, and diving the Great Barrier Reef. He spelunked near Chang Mai, and skippered a 90-foot, 2-masted 1902 wooden schooner during a Haida Gwaii storm.

A composer of songs and guitar instrumentals, he recorded to CD: Come On In, and Standing Stones, and authored 11 books, two comedy plays and a 129-page poem, Stardust Wonders ~ Reality’s Fairy Tale.

As a nod to the ridiculous, Bob is Grand Master Taster of DESSERT FIRST! Its radical premise? Dessert before vegetables and meat. Is it any wonder he named his racing sailboat, Passing Wind and his motorboat, Passing Gas.


The  Voice  of  King  City  Secondary  School  Alumni


J. Robert Gardiner


The  Voice  of  the

King  City Secondary  School Alumni