1939 – 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce Robin’s passing on October 29, 2021 at the age of 82. Robin passed peacefully at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with family at his side.
Robin leaves behind his wife of 53 years, Sheila, children Trevor, Karen and Shane, grandchildren, Jake, Sierra, Bryce and Maggie, brother Ted, and sister Mary.
The son of Joyce and Barney Nasmith, Robin was born in Toronto and shortly after, at the age of 1, moved to Arvida, Quebec where his father was employed as a chemical engineer for Alcan.
Robin was grateful for his upbringing in Quebec. He often shared fond memories of his childhood in Arvida and at the family cottage on Lac St. Jean. He was as comfortable conversing in French as in English and throughout his life maintained a love of the French language. Often speaking in French to his children’s bewildered English speaking friends, to his great amusement.
Robin obtained his Bachelor of Science at Mt. Allison University followed by a degree in Civil Engineering at the Technical University of Nova Scotia. In summers between university years Robin worked for Canadian Pacific Railway, the Alcan coal mine in Kitimat, BC and a smelter in Northern Quebec. These were summers spent crisscrossing the country and cementing a love for Canada.
After graduating, Robin worked for Hydro Quebec at the Manic 5 Dam on the Manicougan River north of Baie Comeau; for him it was a young engineer’s dream come true.
By 1967 Robin was living and working in Montreal, relishing the opportunity of a lifetime as the site engineer for the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 67. Now in his early twenties, Robin and his friends enjoyed the vibrancy and all that Montreal had to offer. It began with a social club named the “Ridgewood Get to Know Montreal and the World Better Club”, founded by Robin and good friend “Moose”. It was this club that provided the opportunity for Robin to charter his first plane and plan his first destination group holiday.
In 1968 he married the love of his life, Sheila McNeill, relocated to Toronto and began a transition that would end his engineering career. Opting instead to follow his entrepreneurial instinct, embracing his love of Canada and outdoor activities, he started a new business in the ski and travel industry aptly named Skican.
The business Robin founded would effectively launch the Canadian destination ski industry. For the next five decades Skican would have a significant impact on the growth and development of the major ski resorts in Western Canada. He was a pioneer with a strong acumen for the business and a reputation for conducting himself with integrity and decency that converted many great business relationships to strong personal friendships.
Cremation has taken place. Friends and family are invited to a memorial service followed by a reception at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue, at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 8th. The service will also be live streamed (link to be provided on the Humphrey Funeral Home website). In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Robin’s memory to the United Way.
Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.
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