Christopher Borgal recieves Lifetime Achievement Award

Architectural Conservancy Ontario (ACO) has recognized Christopher Borgal, OAA FRAIC, CAHP as the 2022 recipient of the prestigious Eric Arthur Lifetime Achievement Award.

Opened in 1894, Massey Hall has become one of Canada’s pre-eminent entertainment venues. It is also recognized as a nationally important heritage site. GBCA is proud to be the heritage consultant for the four award winning project, which upgraded the facility to allow it to better serve today’s audiences.
Working with a remarkable team of consultants from a wide variety of specialized fields, GBCA is responsible for ensuring the conservation of all of the original architectural features on the exterior and on the interior. KPMB were prime architects. Photo credit: Justin Torres, GBCA

The award is given to those “who have made an outstanding contribution to the heritage conservation movement in Ontario over a sustained period of time. The state of the Province’s built heritage today would not be the same without the significant activities of this person.”

Christopher, a President and Senior Principal of GBCA – Goldsmith Borgal & Company Architects, has worked on over two thousand heritage sites across Canada, the U.S and Caribbean, with a concentration in Southwestern Ontario, Ottawa area and Toronto.

GBCA’s role was to assist the design team in the incorporation of the heritage facade withthe new tower. The 3 storey roman stone base and terracotta parapet were salvaged and reinstated.
GBCA prepared design and construction drawings and worked with the team to determine the scope of retention of materials, the means of their preservation and the extent of substitute materials to be proposed. Photo credit: Justin Torres, GBCA

Many past and present works have been on significant buildings in major cities including the 1990’s restoration of the south façade of Parliament Hill’s Centre Block (Ottawa), recent work at Massey Hall (Toronto), many other public buildings, and with key developers including Menkes, Graywood, CentreCourt and Alterra.

Christopher has also dedicated considerable time to the heart of heritage in smaller towns. He volunteered to help the Town of Goderich protect heritage buildings after a devastating tornado; he helped develop the Blyth Festival Theatre and its facilities in the 1980’s; and he has worked on over 30% of Ontario’s museum sites, including Huron, Bruce and Lambton County museums. With his late business partner, Nicholas Hill, Christopher prepared among the earliest Ontario Heritage Conservation District Plans (in the late 1970’s).

65 King East has preserved four heritage buildings (dating from the 1850s) along King Street East while above, private outdoor terraces connect between historic stewardship and the new building. This project’s key challenge was the integration of various styles, facades, floor levels and window designs to ensure a cohesive whole, given that it was one building behind four facades.
65 King Street East will be home to Google Canada headquarters. Photo credit: Justin Torres, GBCA

His recent work at Massey Hall and masonry restoration work at Windsor’s Mackenzie Hall (with Studio g+G, Windsor) have boosted the GBCA award roster to over 56 industry awards.

A past president of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and past national president of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP), Christopher has volunteered his time and provided leadership to assist the evolution of the heritage community in Canada. 

In 2001, he joined Phil Goldsmith to form Goldsmith Borgal & Company Ltd. and became sole proprietor in 2008. He leads the Toronto-based practice of 18 professionals including heritage architects, conservation specialists, technologists, an architectural historian.

Having become, in recent years, a part-time resident of Toronto, as an avid sailor he can be found at his alternate home near Lunenburg NS (where his family settled in 1753) with life partner, Linda Mote, piloting their 40-foot sailboat.