Blaine Armstrong was born in 1950 in Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island. There were 4 children in the family and he was the second. He and his siblings were raised on a family farm just outside of Gore Bay. The farm was very much the mixed/subsistence model of what now seems pretty much a bygone era. Blaine recalls his youth fondly remembering that it was a great way to grow up, although no doubt stressful on his parents trying to make ends meet. He worked on the farm through his youth and also helped his father in a small saw mill that helped to supplement the family income
Upon completion of high school in Gore Bay, Blaine attended the University of Toronto graduating in 1973 with a BA. In his graduation year, he received a Victory College Honour Award, having been active in student government and related activities. He worked for a local construction company in a variety of capacities from labourer to truck driver and equipment operator during the summers of his university years. There were also a couple stints as cook for road maintenance crews when they were working on access roads north of Massey in the Camp 8 area. After U of T, Blaine attended law school at Queen's University in Kingston and graduated with an LLB in 1976. He spent an apprentice year with the Wallace & Carr firm in North Bay after graduation. After being called to the bar, he set up a partnership practice with a law school friend, Terence Land, and the firm of Armstrong & Land continued until his retirement from the active practice of law in Dec. 2002. The practice of law in a rural area is of necessity general in nature although Blaine filled the niche as the firm's barrister. For much of his career he was largely a criminal trial lawyer, by turns in the prosecution and defense capacities. About ten years went into Criminal Code prosecution work and almost five years in prosecution of drug matters for the Federal Prosecution Service.