The Mechanical Room European Tour!

The Mechanical Room European Tour!

We packed our bags and flew to Europe for Viennese coffee and German beer.

Along the way our BRHVAC team made friends with some cool cats who know what’s good. Long story short, The Mechanical Room Vlog had an opportunity to shoot 4 episodes and we’re sharing them with you on this page.

No vodka was consumed during the filming of these episodes, only cognac.

Episode 1: Praha – Combination Boiler Heating (Live)

Episode 2: Carpathian Mountains – Wood Burning Boiler. (Live)

Episode 3: L’viv – Radiant Heating In A 3,500 sq.ft Home. (Live)

Episode 4: Visit To A Plumbing & Heating Supplier in Ukraine. (Coming Soon)








Oil Boiler Replacement.

Oil Boiler Replacement.

Written by Senior Technician.

October 2016.

Mission: To build a reliable and stylish modern mechanical room.

First you”ll need to know how a hydronic hot water heating system works using radiators.

Next we’ll have to explain how a “gravity system” works.

Then we’ll summarize what the owner had to do in order to upgrade his Etobicoke home’s heating system to a modern type.

Blackrock HVAC took on the job of removing the old and replacing with new. It wasn’t easy, but it was a lot of fun. If you are looking for HVAC contractors in Ontario to take care of your project from A to Z please keep reading.



Welcome to the Aviation Themed Mechanical Room!





The First Encounter. 

Meet this 1950’s gravity boiler.

Birthplace: Etobicoke, Ontario. Canada.

History: Originally a coal fired gravity heating system.

Converted to oil fuel during the 1970’s.

Added a separate loop for basement radiators in the 2000’s.

Does anybody else see the resemblance to a lama in this gravity boiler?



A hazardous waste removal company had to remove the boiler for us.

The tall white tank is not the oil tank, but rather an electric water heater (which also goes bye bye!).
If you have something like this at home you know how much space it takes up…

It took an entire day just to get to what you see here.



Chapter 2: 

Accent Wall.

Give your room character.

The customer who is tackling this project is Steve Thorne, a pilot and aircraft enthusiast. Make sure to visit his YouTube channel here.

A Blackrock portfolio project needs a sick accent wall, so my automotive enthusiast friends gathered and started Googling what an aviation styling looks like… Our research led to something like this:






Building something aircraft like turned out to be harder than expected.

After visiting two local metal supermarkets, the reality was we will need to be creative.

This sheet of perforated aluminium looked pretty awesome so we bought two of them. 

metal5 metal6

Accent Wall Includes:

  • Reinforcing the metal stud wall to support to new equiptment’s weight.
  • Mounting a strong 2X8 for the boiler to hang on.
  • Covering the wall with a solid 3/4″ Canadian plywood.
  • Painting the plywood black for contrast.
  • Mounting perforated aluminum.
  • Hanging NTI TFT110 boiler. 
Strengthening our wall to support equipment weight.
Measuring wall supports for future reference.
3/4″ plywood wall able to support ~600lbs.
Painting the accent wall for contrast.
Maks Marshall.
Accent wall complete.
Two sheets of perforated aluminum, same one found at Billy Bishop Airport.
A naked central heating boiler just hangin’
First phase complete, ready for system piping.



Chapter 3 + Video

Project Inspiration

Have you ever had a project that tickled the right spot and you couldn’t stop working on it? This was one of those cases, and if it was for school this project was to receive an A++ and stun all the students. There was a purpose, but what is it?

It’s been half a year since first meeting Steve Thorne at a mutual friend’s reno party. Our first conversation was about helicopters versus airplanes and how I would rather get my heli license. It turns out that Steve loves to fly planes and is documenting his training through a sweet YouTube channel called “Flight Chops”. My inner engineer became addicted to Flight Chops episode and I was soon watching them with my car guy friends over espressos on Sundays. Lets face it, flight is a marvel. His passion shrunk my interest in helicopters to make room for a more sophisticated form of navigation.

So here we are building a heating system for this super cool person and the last thing we wanted was a boring mechanical room. Tackling such a boiler conversion was already a large effort, but to get an A++ our team had to do some more research…

Without the experience of being in an airplane there would be no way of continuing this build. This information was e-mailed to the big boss and he quickly approved a Project Research & Junior Technician Appreciation Day!





Maks had no idea we were going flying until we were standing in front of an airplane.







Ok we got the point, use gauges, have a checklist, and label everything!



System Piping.

Primary and secondary loop piping is always a popular conversation – especially at social events – but we’re going to skip it today. Instead here are some pictures of the system piping being assembled. This process took ten days to complete.

Supply side and gas manifold piping.
Supply side and gas manifold piping.
Return maneuvered in a way to take up less space but still serviceable.
Return maneuvered in a way to take up less space but still serviceable.
A mechanical system your grandfather would approve.
A mechanical system your grandfather would approve.
Two coats of paint on boiler piping.
Two coats of paint on boiler piping.
Existing electric water heater, but now we have gas.
Existing electric water heater but now we have gas.
Indirect Water Heater by NTI made in Canada.
Indirect Water Heater by NTI made in Canada.

Custom Painted Piping. Benefits: We are able to design the piping in a way that doesn’t take up space and is out of your way. Painting the pipes allows the homeowner and technician to identify and troubleshoot easier.


All piping is bespoke.
All piping is bespoke.
Temperature gauges on in & out from the water heater.
Monitor your water temperature.
Aviation inspired labels on all valves and electronics.
Aviation inspired labels.
Water Mixing Valve
Water Mixing Valve

In The Meantime… Stay in Touch!


Blackrock HVAC Instagram




Furnace + Hot Water Tank.

Furnace + Hot Water Tank.

Like most mechanical rooms it was dark, creepy, and featured equipment that we turn a blind eye to.

Luckily these homeowners of this 1950’s Toronto bungalow planned ahead and were willing to build something exciting! Furnace, Water Tank, and Central Vacuum replacement.


With new equipment and cabinetry we’ve added swag to the entire 700 sq.ft basement.


Planning ahead nets better decisions. Here we decided to incorporate the furnace room into the basement – which was exposed – to create an Open Concept Mechanical Room. By replacing the HVAC appliances, using high quality workmanship and interior design, we had a modern plan that was going to impress visitors.




The first step was to empty the room leaving behind only ducts and water lines. An accent wall was built behind the future appliances to make a boring furnace room look more desirable and unique. Canadian red oak was chosen for the wall spanning 8’ in length.


Goodman is the largest manufacturer of HVAC products in North America. Their core values are reliability, easy serviceability, and industry leading warranty. It was a no brainer to go with a Goodman GMVM96 with 2-stage gas valve, variable speed fan motor, and an oversized 5” media filter.


The accent wall is illuminated with LED’s to give it the wow factor. New metal for the return drop gets rid of old dust. Venting, wires and gas lines were carefully joined and tucked away neatly to eliminate clutter. A 50 gallon water tank was chosen for its reliability and peace of mind for the next eighteen years.

Blackrock HVAC
modern mechanical room

Blackrock HVAC

Switches with stainless steel covers compliment the mechanical room, making it truly feel modern.

Blackrock HVAC

A Blackrock optional granite equiptment pad Serial #007 was placed underneath the furnace like a boss.

modern mechanical room

Once all the equipment was tested and the gaps in metal were siliconed, the floor received two coats of paint, the results were amazing. Black & Decker cabinets made their way for additional storage that was impossible to envision before.

modern mechanical room

Benjamin-Moore paint was used on the walls to give the room style.


modern mechanical room

Central Vacuum was updated by The Vac Man, Toronto’s Central Vacuum Specialist. This home now sports a Nilfisk unit with an Italian motor and some carbon fiber swag.


No Blackrock HVAC installation would feel authentic without some custom 3D printed functional items. In this mechanical room we had Rapitaro Designs print us a exhaust vent bracket with a gold leafed embossed logo.


Modern mechanical room

We’ve come full circle since the 1950’s.

What you’re looking at now is the new norm: a functional, reliable, organized room for your renovated home. Creative customers let us challenge ourselves and at the same time push residential HVAC design forward.

Thank you for you interest in Blackrock HVAC.

Have an awesome idea?

Please share with us by phone or email.

[email protected]               (647) 388 – 5744


Furnace installations start at $5,000 + HST and have many humidity, filtration, and fresh air options.