Michael McIsaac: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Meet Michael McIsaac, full-time lawyer, part-time long distance swimmer. We caught up with Michael to find out what inspired his career and learn a little about why he’s swimming across Lake Ontario this week…



1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I am a lawyer and recreational athlete training to swim 51K across Lake Ontario on August 21 for charity.

2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
Deepk Hundal. I lived with Deepk for two years while he was finishing up law school and I was struggling in my first few years of undergrad. Without his continued friendship and informal mentorship, I would have never pursued law as a career. We are good friends to this day and I am forever indebted to Deepk for his ongoing guidance.

3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
The moment I learned I passed the Bar I felt a deep sense of accomplishment, which was akin to being unburdened and set free after years spent toiling in self-doubt.

4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
I imagine that I’ll be working, living and playing in Toronto, but if life takes me elsewhere, as long as I’m happy that is the only thing that is important to me.

5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Have both a vocation and an avocation; be fiercely passionate about them and don’t be afraid to cut against the grain. Balance is possible, but only if you want it to be.

6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I support the Douglas Wright Foundation.

Approximately 80,000 new incidences of skin cancer will be diagnosed this year (greater than the incidences of lung, colon, prostate and breast cancer combined). Diagnoses of skin cancer are increasing at an alarming rate for young Canadians. Collectively, we need to better educate young Canadians about preventative measures they can take to protect their skin. The Douglas Wright Foundation does just that and I am happy to support the cause.     

7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
A major challenge for me is constantly defending my avocation. Without my physical health, the degradation of my emotional and mental well-being is objectively noticeable. I pursue athletics as a hobby because it makes me happy, keeps me emotionally and mentally balanced, and gives me a sense of purpose outside of the office. It also allows me to give back to my community. Defending this passion and helping people recognize its importance is a challenge and I really hope that one day it no longer is.

8. What does the word notable mean to you?
Something of significance or worthy of reference.



1. Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Where I live, where I play, and where I walk my dog, William: King West. Forna Cultura, Bar Buca, Home of the Brave, Gusto 101, Lee, Cibo, Jimmy’s, Jacob’s… whether you want a quiet coffee, a fancy steak dinner or some good Italian eats, our neighbourhood has it all.

2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Google. Without Larry Page and Sergery Brin, my life would be much more challenging.

House of Cards put JJ Grey & Mofro on my radar, so right now that’s about all I’m listening to…. well, that and Taylor Swift.

3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Dwayne Johnson aka ‘THE ROCK’. If you’re not following him, you should.

4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Canada! I love exploring our country, the cities, and its backwoods that make our country so diverse. Get outside and explore it.

My next trip outside the country is to Iceland in September.

5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Missing a guys weekend or boys night out. We are all so busy that on the rare occasion all of the boys can get together, it is something I hate to miss. My friendships are very important to me and I want my friends to know that they each hold a place of esteem in my life.

6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Matthew McConaughey and Taylor Swift. If you have to ask why, then you just wouldn’t understand.

7.  What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Candy. I spend entirely too much money on candy.

I hope I live long enough to look back and say I wish I spent more money investing/saving for retirement. But for now, I have no desire to spend my money in any other way than I currently spend it. Family, friends, fun and experiences; that’s how I spend my money. I live with no television or internet in my loft, get together with friends as often as possible, and am always up to spend money on new experiences. I don’t think I’ll ever look back on that and say it wasn’t worth it, but ask me again in 30 years.

8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Family, friends, my dog, cold beer, good food, and a lot of laughter.