Gregory Anthony Hildebrand
August 31, 1954 – August 23, 2021
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Greg Hildebrand at his home in Mississauga on August 23, 2021, finally ending his long battle with cancer.
Greg was born in Calgary, Alberta to James and L. May Hildebrand, on August 31, 1954. He attended school at Penhold AB, Barrie ON, Richmond BC, and London, ON, but his fondest memories were Barrie and London. Many lifetime friendships developed in those early years.
After graduating, at the top of his class, in 1980 from Durham College (Oshawa ON), he joined ORTECH (formerly The Ontario Research Foundation). In the window testing lab he found his passion and quickly developed technical and engineering expertise with respect to windows, curtain walls and building envelope. In 1991 Greg joined EXP Services Inc (formerly Trow Associates Inc) and remained with the company for the rest of his career. In 2002, at the age of 48, Greg returned to school and completed a master’s degree in Façade Engineering at the University of Bath, in England.
During his lengthy career, Greg took on many different roles, including that of researcher, educator, practitioner and mentor. His commitment to the engineering community was obvious through his many contributions to industry associations, memberships and committees. He shared his experience and knowledge by teaching at the University of Toronto and offering courses for the Toronto Construction Association. He was recognized by his peers on several occasions, including the Ontario Building Envelope Council’s, Anthony A. Woods Award (The Beckie) in 2014 and the Canadian Standards Association’s Award of Merit in 2017. Greg co-chaired the CSA A440 Series Technical Committee, that sets the performance requirements for fenestration assemblies, and more. He served as the Canadian Chair of NAFS (North American Fenestration Standard) as well as working on many committees/task groups within the ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials). His work can be seen throughout Canada, but also internationally, as he was part of the iconic Bahá’í Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile; the Dubai Bank, UAE; the National Veterans Memorial & Museum in Columbus, among others. His career took him to sites around the globe – from Beijing, China to Abu Dhabi to Scotland and the Caribbean to name just a few.
In his personal life, in 1977, he married Margaret Peeters. Although the marriage ended in 1986, the best thing that came out of the union was his much loved children, Jamie and Meghan. In 1987, Greg met and and later married (Sept 8, 1990) Marion Mros, the woman he would spend the rest of his life with. In the years to come they travelled across Canada, to parts of the U.S., Mexico, the UK, Greece and Germany. The most memorable trips were Greece in 2009 (attending the wedding of a classmate from Bath) and the German Christmas Market riverboat cruise in 2017 (Greg loved Christmas). Greg and Marion camped every year with the same group of friends at various Provincial parks, their favourite being The Pinery Provincial Park. Greg had a deep connection with the Pinery dating back to his teen years. The Hildebrands lived in their Streetsville home since 1995 and truly made it their own. Greg was a real visionary when it came to renovations but Greg’s true passion was music. He had a collection of electric and acoustic guitars and an amazing voice that rivalled the best rock and blues vocalists. Anyone who knew Greg will attest to the fact that he loved technology and always seemed to have the latest and greatest gadget. He enjoyed photography and owned a number of cameras over the years. When it came to sports, Greg was an accredited hockey coach in his younger years and loved to play a weekly game on an outdoor rink up until the last few years. Greg was a life long Maple Leafs fan and was lucky enough to have seen the Leafs win a cup during his lifetime. In the last 15+ years he looked forward to his weekly golf game. He stretched each season out as long as he could and played at every opportunity.
Greg loved this country and proudly claimed that he had been to every province in Canada. In the early 70s he hitchhiked across the country more than once. Upon owning a car he also travelled to every state in the continental USA.
Greg was kind-hearted, generous, had a great sense of humour and wit, and made friends wherever he went. He loved his family and friends and believed strongly in the importance of home.
Greg is survived by his loving wife Marion, son Jamie (Laura), daughter Meghan, grandson Taye, brother James (Susan), sister Kathleen Fox, mother May Caldwell, stepmother Christine Hildebrand, nephews, Mathew Hildebrand, Thomas Fox (Ikumi) and Jonathan Forlin.
In lieu of flowers we ask that you consider making a donation to “The Friends of the Pinery”.
A Celebration of Life for Greg Hildebrand will be held at BraeBen Golf Course in Mississauga, on Sunday, October 17, 2021 from 2pm to 5pm. Condolences, stories and pictures can be posted on this page below.
Our reputation speaks for itself, and for very few, this reputation is legendary. Greg is one of those great minds, both in character and intellectuality, that has made significant impact to those who have crossed path with him. He is a LEGEND.
First time I heard about Greg is in a legal rebuttal, where a competitor from the opposing side sitting in Vancouver requesting to involve Greg from Brampton. Such is his reputation that his reach had no bounds. Neither did 1000s of miles mattered nor people with opposing interests mattered.
First time I met Greg is in an ASTM conference. Contrary to what I had pictured in my mind, he carrying his back pack in a semi-formal attire for such an event, every inch about him was humility and honesty. It was our first meeting yet he spent several hours introducing me to several of the industry peers and colleagues, discussing challenging projects, our firm’s legacy etc. I was in this cloud nine thinking that I am special and that Greg has seen something in me. But infact, Greg has a special talent to make you feel special, regardless of how much you know him or how many times you have met him. He also has a special talent to evaluate and utilize your skills. I can still vividly see his eyes seeing through my eyes that established a deep friendship.
What I admired the most about Greg is that he is an altruist and is never afraid to convey what he has in mind. Whether when he says ‘I don’t give a rat’s ass’ (to a Contractor who says his project schedule or budget will not allow our recommendation), ‘knock yourself’ (when he is not in agreement with what we are proposing), ‘keep your chin up’ (when you are down) or ‘good work’ (when he truly appreciates what you do).
I wish I had known him for a long time like many of you here. But, I am at least glad I was able to connect with him at a much deeper level in the brief period I had known him. We have shared stories (for one how his brother became a lawyer), interests (whether it is music or his love for technology) and toys (how he bought Marion a car with good deal) and most of all going philosophical in many instances. I am sure I would have averaged speaking with him for at least 10% of those hours that he sat in his office in the last 6 months.
I have no words to express my sorrow of the loss of an excellent colleague, a mentor, and a dear friend. He has made a huge positive impact in my life, and am sure in many other lives. My move to GTA is his masterstroke and I hope I can honor him my living up to his expectations. My aspiration to work side by side with him has become a dream that will not come true in this life. But, I assure that I will carry his legacy and technical expertise as much as I can. Greg will live in my and my family’s heart forever.
Marion and family, I am very sorry for your loss.
Greg you were an amazing friend and an inspiration to me. I miss you. I love you. You are forever a part of my soul..
Journey on, dear heart…
Early dawns this new felt morn,
how softly streams the light
seeking shifting shadows cast
by dark and fleeing night.
Journey on, dear heart…
Gentle joys await us,
yet quiet sorrows stalk
ahead on winding untrod paths
where God and you shall walk.
Journey on, dear heart…
Sadness sits on this sheltered bench,
I rest alone with shifting shadows…
His dear heart has journeyed on ahead
my tears, they veil yon meadows.
Journey on, dear heart…
Spirit now croons a golden song,
With memories of His light,
Sending healing hope and Love,
to guide me through this night.
I Journey on, dear heart…
I found a friend-for-life and now he’s gone. 20 some years ago I was walking up my street in Mississauga when I saw Greg cleaning out his garage with a golf bag in his hand. I knew Greg but not personally. I said “I didn’t know you were a golfer.” His reply? Are you? I responded I love golf! Greg said you have to join us every Sunday we golf. A Friendship was born. Most golfers would ask what your handicap was. Not Greg, he was not judgmental. He would certainly tell you if you were doing something wrong though! Some people you just automically bond with. Greg was one of those people.
And oh did he love the Toronto Maple Leafs! He will never get to see them win a Stanley Cup but I’ll bet he’ll be with the 1967 Maples Leafs in Heaven talking about how they won.
Until we meet again. You will be greatly missed.
Greg’s professional legacy is one to which we from the facade and building envelope business all aspire but are unlikely to achieve. When I think of foresight, I think of Greg. When it comes to practicality and the ability to simplify the complex, I think of Greg. My favourite quote has to be (with regards to the A440 Standard) “how the **** we took a 40 page document to the behemoth it is now is beyond me” Will miss you, my friend.
Greg had an incredibly profound impact on me, early in my career… My introduction to him came in the early 90s while working at Dryvit, and sorting through the pressure equalization reporting that was ultimately pioneered by his work at Trow – what started as a highly technical debate during our first meeting ended with a lasting friendship…
Long before many others, Greg was at the front edge of building science and facade research, and he was never shy to state the practical (or the obvious!)… My favorite moments with him include the odd round of golf, my tenure on A440.4, co-presenting with him at various industry and academic events, and even sitting opposite from him during expert witness testimony (the best of which was his report stating that a building with ventilation problems does much better to prevent rain penetration by leaving the windows closed – during rain!)… Many more stories could follow, I look forward to reading the others! Greg, you live on in hearts and souls, and will be long remembered…
What is there to say about Greg. So much comes to mind but I’ll sum it up this way: smart, kind, generous, caring, witty, talented, a devoted husband to Marion, our friend. We had the good fortune to become close friends with Greg and Marion. So much so we travelled to Germany with them for the Christmas Market cruise. There was always room for us in the “Zen Room” at the Hildebrand residence after moving to Kingston. I am so glad we got to see Greg last month. I will always remember his last words to me as I left the room: “Keep On Trucking”. Love you lots and lots Greg.
I am very saddened by the passing of my friend and colleague Greg.
I had the privilege of knowing Greg since 1984 when we both worked at the Building Performance Centre of Ontario Research Foundation in Mississauga. Greg was the outspoken witty guy who never ceased talking about his kids, golf, and of course, our shared technical subjects of Building Envelope performance, Greg remained a true friend and a great colleague until his painful passing. My sincere condolences go to his family and friends.
We will dearly miss you Greg.
P.S. We as CSA Technical Committee members will be holding a “Celebration for Life” meeting on September 14, and I had to help myself to the above photo of Greg playing the guitar, posted by Gerhard with due reference and many thanks.
So when I started law school as a mature student, in 1990, I didn’t have a computer, I just figured I’d rent a typewriter if I needed one. I was sitting at home on a Sunday evening before school was to start, and there was a knock on the door, and there was Greg with a Mac SE for me to get me though. That was quite a surprise, he had gotten my mom and my dad to go together and make sure I had what I needed for school. I don’t know what I would have done without that computer, or without my big brother looking out for me.
We have known Greg since his first meeting with Marion in 1987 and I was the maid of honour at their wedding in 1990.Greg talked about his daughter, Meghan and son, Jamie all the time. Difficult to believe it was 30 years ago. We have remained good friends all these years. One of our favourite past times was going to the movies and then to dinner, at which time we would critique the movie. We would also learn about Greg’s latest gadget, or vehicle, and his latest trip and expert testimony. We were fortunate to travel to Vegas with them and had a great time. Jimmie and Greg would get in the occasional game of golf and we attempted to get to Stratford every summer for a play. We always had a lot to catch up on and we did! We will miss these times together. Greg’s diagnosis was a shock and he made it clear he wanted to be treated like normal. With COVID we never saw his decline, so we will remember him the way he wanted us to. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. Much love Marion!
Greg was like an older brother to me. I will always remember the first time I met him when he first started dating my sister Marion. I remember him at my wedding. I think he danced with every woman there. He was fun to be around. He was so full of life and could engage you on a discussion about almost anything.
I was looking through photos of him that I took over the years. In almost every photo there was either a guitar or an Apple computer close by. He was the main reason I became a huge Apple tech fan. But he loved any new technology. I even helped him setup some high tech security hardware for the house.
There was no doubt that he loved family. When there was a problem or a family emergency you could count on Greg to be there without even asking him. He was an avid Leafs fan and assumed everybody also were fans. Every time I saw him he would ask if I saw the game last night and would want to talk about the highlights. I learned a lot about the Leafs and hockey from Greg.
When I got laid off from my big Corporate 500 job in downtown Toronto, Greg automatically came to my aid and got me work with Trow, doing special high tech projects. I even travelled with Greg to a couple of Ottawa sites and worked side-by-side with him. It was there that I learned he always had a plan and knew exactly what he was doing. And he was the best at it.
Years ago he told me he was not perfect and had made his share of mistakes. But it was through these mistakes that we learn to do better. He also told me on one of our flights back from Ottawa that marrying my sister was one of the best decisions he had ever made.
I always figured that Greg had enough life and energy in him for two people. I expected him to be around forever. So it was a shock even to learn that he had cancer. I will miss him every day. Rest In Peace brother.