In Memoriam: Bill Greer, 1925-2023

William (Bill) Greer, architect, heritage consultant, and former Chief Architect for the Toronto Historical Board, passed away peacefully at home on February 5, 2023.
Born in Kingston to Lt. Colonel George Garnet Greer and Mamie Isobel Garrett in 1925, Bill moved to Toronto when he was six and attended Crescent School before boarding at Trinity College School in Port Hope for high school.

He came back to Toronto to live at Trinity College and to study architecture at the University of Toronto. Afterwards, he completed a Master of Science in Product Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago in 1950 (where he studied under Buckminster Fuller), which gave him a heightened appreciation for form and process.

Bill returned to Toronto and spent the next 22 years at Shore & Moffat, Architects focused on academic institutional work and became a partner. Greer represented the firm in the joint venture activities of UPACE (University Planning, Architecture and Consulting Engineering Limited) where he was responsbile for the Master Planning for York University and individual building projects for York such as The Scott Library, Petrie Science Building, McLaughlin College and the Tait McKenzie Physical and Recreation Building.

In 1972, Greer established a private practice as an architect and later went on to become the Chief Architect for the Toronto Historical Board in 1976. In 1992, he established his architectural heritage consultant practice and has worked on numerous projects including the Windsor Arms Hotel and the Whitney Block and Tower, Queen’s Park, Toronto.

He felt fortunate for the many awards he received: Honorary Doctorate of Sacred Letters, Trinity College; Fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada; Ontario Association of Architects Order of da Vinci Award; Special Achievement Award, Heritage Toronto (and naming of the William Greer Built Heritage Award); Chancellor’s Circle Medal, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, University of Toronto; Eric Arthur Award for Lifetime Achievement, Architectural Conservancy of Ontario; Lifetime Achievement Award, Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals.

Bill was a modest man, a gentleman with quiet dignity who used his pragmatic and mediating skills to preserve the old and integrate it with the new. He lived a long and distinguished life – and will be forever loved.

He will be profoundly missed by many, but mostly by his loving wife Rina, his two boys, Jonathan (Valerie) and Simon (Melissa) and his five grandchildren; William, Julia, Oliver, Erica and Spencer.