I’m 10 minutes into a leisurely summer hike with iconic national news anchor Lloyd Robertson when I realize I’ve worn the wrong shoes for this interview. I’ve dressed to impress one of the most important personalities in Canadian news in a dress and platform sandals, but Robertson is more appropriately attired for a stroll in khaki walking shorts, sneakers and shades.
It’s a much more casual look than the suit and tie in which most Canadians are accustomed to seeing him. As the face of CTV News for 35 years, Robertson cut a dapper figure from behind his anchor desk; the Order of Canada pin glinting from his lapel, his hair impeccably coiffed. Today a slight breeze is ruffling his famed do. “Patricia, did you bring the hair spray?” he calls out, jokingly, to his longtime CTV publicist. “You know hair is the most important part of television.”
We couldn’t be farther from a TV studio as we trek around the lush grounds of the Swan Lake community in Markham, Ont., where Robertson has lived with his wife, Nancy, since 1997. We wander through thick greenery, over footbridges and around a serene pond at the centre of the property. Robertson takes care to point out the Indian burial ground at the edge of the property and he greets each passerby with a hearty “hello!”
This is Robertson in his element now, away from the bright lights and anchor chair. He takes this 40-minute walk four days a week when the weather’s warm. “I believe that keeping the body active is extremely important, because if your body is active, you mind will continue to work,” he says.