Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

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Engineers

Skapti “Scotty” Josef Borgford

Biography

Skapti “Scotty” Josef Borgford was born on February 18, 1916. He attended the University of Manitoba where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1942. It is unclear when Borgford started working for the firm Green Blankstein Russell (GBR), but by 1959 he was acting as the Special Projects Engineer for the firm.

During his time with GBR, Borgford worked on the Winnipeg Air Terminal project. Borgford, alongside Art Piercy (mechanical engineer) and Elizabeth Pilcher (architect and town planner), worked on the coordination of planning, drainage, and the engineering conception for the project. He also worked on the Duluth Seaport Corporation Project.

Borgford was a founding member of the Co-operative Housing Association of Manitoba Limited (CHAM). CHAM was incorporated on January 23, 1960 and their goal was to promote and build housing co-operatives. CHAM engaged GBR, where Borgford was still an associate, to provide a comprehensive plan for 980 housing units that would be built on land owned by the City of Winnipeg. The city had asked for proposals to develop the land for housing, however CHAM was not successful with their proposal. In 1962, CHAM was able to acquire 11.6 acres of land through a 60-year lease arrangement with the city. GBR created new architectural plans and the eventual design resulted in a 200-unit development with homes grouped around six landscaped courtyards. This housing co-operative—said to have been the first co-operative town house community in Canada—was called Willow Park and was completed in 1966. As the president of CHAM in the mid 1960s, Borgford was instrumental in the realization of this project. Willow Park remains a housing co-op to this day.

In addition to his work with GBR and CHAM, Borgford served as the president of the Association of Professional Engineers of Manitoba (renamed Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba in 2016) in 1965. Borgford also served a few terms as a Trustee for the Winnipeg School Division

Borgford passed away in 1984.

Sources

  • Willow Park: a co-operative community, published by the CCSM
  • “Here’s how one developer is planning to tap the low income housing market,” Canadian Builder, December 1964
  • “Willow Park is Canada’s best housing bargain,” Winnipeg Co-Op News, 10/26/1965
  • Letters to the Editor, Winnipeg Free Press, 11/26/2012

Photographs