Our Story and People

Wilderness Union exists so you can make the most of your one wild and precious life. Meet the people who make the community possible.
December 20, 2023

A Letter From Our Founder and Chief Wanderer

Hey! I’m Isaac. I created Wilderness Union because I wanted to make the magic of the outdoors accessible to more people.

I came to Toronto from England as a newcomer and discovering Ontario’s wilderness on my first backcountry trip restored a sense of wonder that I’d lost living in the city. Feeling insignificant in the enormity of the wild creates a profound sense of perspective and a commitment to conservation that you bring back to everyday life.

Exploring all this can be hard. You need transport, you need to know where to go, what gear to bring and find good adventure buddies to come with you.

The outdoors became my escape during the pandemic lockdowns and I was forced to figure out solutions to these problems. I’d plan a different adventure each weekend and soon a growing group of friends would tag along. These trips transformed a difficult time into the highlight of our weeks.

I returned to my career on Bay Street each Monday and became obsessed with the idea of making the benefits of wilderness exploration accessible to more people. I developed a vision - we’d figure out the transport, organize the kind of adventures people hadn’t seen before and create a whole community around it.

I left my job shortly after and have dedicated my time to this mission ever since. A year later, so many more have joined us and I’ve never been more confident about the need for Wilderness Union to exist.

On our patches, we’ve included the words “One Wild and Precious Life”. It’s a line from the Mary Oliver poem, The Summer Day. It’s a rumination on awe in the face of nature, it’s the reason our van is named Grasshopper and it encapsulates why we do this. Getting into nature reminds us that we have just one wild, precious life and this is how we choose to make the most of it.

In our first year, we’ve had so many incredible experiences and the most extraordinary community has emerged. So many of our members have had the same revelation I did, falling in love with the wild and creating some of their closest friendships along the way. The community is constantly evolving as members contribute their own skills and passions, leading to the launch of our member-led clubs and activities.

Now, our mission has grown to help you connect with the outdoors wherever you are on your journey - whether you’re just getting started or have learned enough to be heading out on your own. I hope you'll join us!

Meet Our Guides

Our guides do more than keep you safe. They'll teach you new skills and share their knowledge to give you a new lens on the places we visit.


Jon is a seasoned trip guide, learning their craft leading groups in the vast wilderness of Temagami. They're a certified Wilderness First Responder, an expert paddler, mycologist and ornithologist and knows more about trees than just about anyone you'll meet. Their love for the outdoors is immediately obvious and infectious.

Away from the woods, Jon's a keen climber, expert playlist curator for our road trips and has become a good friend to many of our members.


Bryan began guiding with Wilderness Union after leading some incredible foraging trips. He's an expert outdoor educator, with years of experience foraging, cooking and crafting with wild plants and mushrooms. There's nothing he loves more than introducing people to our non-human neighbours. Hikes with Bryan are a voyage of discovery - spend a few hours with him and you'll be spotting edibles everywhere you go.

Bryan has a Remote First Aid certification and is studying towards his Wilderness First Responder.

Meet Our Community Leaders

Our community is built on the unique experience that our members bring. From member-led clubs to the fun starters, here are some of our members who play an outsized role shaping Wilderness Union.


Member Care/Climb Club Leader

Brit's someone you'll immediately feel comfortable with and is the perfect fit as our Member Care Leader.

Brit's around if you ever want to discuss concerns or problems, or even if you just want to chat. As a keen climber, she's also one of the leaders behind our new Climbing Club!


Run Club Leader

Jordan joined WU along with his partner shortly after moving to Canada in 2023.

A keen runner, he co-leads our run club, affectionately named Wun Club. You'll find him on the roads each Thursday, planning routes and hyping us up to run, no matter what the weather!


Sustainability Lead

Meet Shivika and her frenchie, Bubster.

Shivika guides our eco stewardship to help minimize environmental harm caused by our operations and identify opportunities to have a positive  impact on the planet through volunteering and more.


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