Robert Wiener rarely misses a day of exercise. He spends half an hour riding on his adapted stationary bike daily, 15 minutes flat, 15 minutes on an incline.
He also does weights every day, but calls himself lazy for skipping some of his stretches.
Wiener can be forgiven for missing a workout — he turned 110 last week, making this remarkable man Canada’s oldest living person.
“I don’t give it any thought,” Wiener said from his Côte Saint-Luc apartment.
“So it happens to be me. Someone has to be the oldest.”
Wiener’s eyesight is going and so is his hearing. But his mind — and memory — are completely intact.
WATCH: Meet Canada’s oldest person: A spry 110 years young!
Wiener was born in 1908 in Montreal. He was one of seven siblings.
He studied dentistry, and attended Queen’s University. He was athletic, and was on the Queen’s hockey team as a goalie.
He has fond memories shooting pucks on Montreal streets, just after horse-drawn carriages plowed them down, flattening them.
Watch: remarkable longevity
“Times were good. Good childhood,” Wiener said. “Everyone would come home at the end of the day, tell what happened what they did. It was a good family.”
Wiener considers his greatest accomplishment marrying the love of his life, Ella, in 1937. They had met in Montreal when she was still in high school. Wiener went away to study in Chicago, and said it was difficult communicating in those days. When he was visiting Montreal one day, he told Ella they needed to get married, and she agreed, and moved back to Chicago with him.
“Beautiful, blond girl. I knew when I saw her I had to meet her,” Wiener said.
Ella died seven years ago, and it still causes him great pain.
“I am happy except when I think of my Ella,” he said. “The shock has never gone away. The shock has never gone away.”
The couple went on to have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The family came together last weekend to celebrate Wiener’s milestone birthday. They brought him cards from the Queen, the prime minister, and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.
His rabbi also attended the party.
“The rabbi came and she spoke. They tell me she came and spoke. I can’t remember her at all. I think I must have fallen asleep,” he said, laughing.
He credits good genes for living so long. One of his brothers lived until he was 109. Wiener says both of them were involved in a cancer study a few years ago, examining why they had never contracted the disease. Wiener has never been seriously ill.
He swears by a Mediterranean diet, eating fish four times a week, but admitting to having a steak every once in awhile.
He adores his family, and says they visit him regularly. He says their visits give him much happiness.
Reflecting on his life, he says his secret is simple.
“That’s a good question. Just go about being nice to other people I suppose. Don’t be nasty. Treat people the way you want to be treated.”