Phyllis Haslam represented Canada at the 1934 British Empire Games in Hamilton winning gold in the 3×100 yard medley relay and silver in the 200 yard breaststroke. Prior to the Games she set a world record in the 100 yard breaststroke at the 1934 British Empire Games Trials. In 1932 she set Canadian records in the 100 yard and 220 yard breaststroke.

Haslam was born in Dharmsala, India while her missionary father and doctor mother served there. The family returned to Toronto in 1916 before moving to Saskatchewan in 1922. It was after entering the University of Saskatchewan in 1930 that Haslam began swimming competitively, and by 1934 she had set intervarsity records and won four individual titles. Haslam then studied social science at the University of Toronto in 1934-35 winning individual and team championships in her three seasons on the varsity team.

For a quarter of a century, Haslam was the first executive director of the Toronto Elizabeth Fry Society. In recognition of a life devoted to the cause of criminal welfare at home and abroad, women offenders being her special concern, Haslam was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1978. The Phyllis Haslam Residence at Elizabeth Fry Toronto was named in her honour, as was Haslam Crescent and Way in Saskatoon.

Haslam was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1975, Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1977, and Aquatic Hall of Fame and Museum of Canada.