Executive Team

Founded on 60 years of mechanical experience, Onyx Mechanical provides clients with creative thinking as well as proven skills and quality workmanship. Regardless of project type, Onyx draws on the knowledge of both the theoretical and practical disciplines to deliver projects that not only meet but exceed the expectations of the client.

Chris NielsenChris Nielsen

Having entered HVAC in 1990, Chris holds diplomas in both HVAC Systems Design and Energy Management. Graduating with Honors in 1993 he joined a Toronto based HVAC firm as a product manager, responsible for design and production of medium temperature refrigeration systems.  

In 1995, Chris created Hydro-Thermal Technologies, an export company specializing in the design and construction of humidity control equipment for several industries and clients including the U.S Department of Defense, Motorola, Fuji, Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels and Educational Institutions such as The College of William and Mary, the second oldest college in North America. 

In 1999, Chris joined HTS Engineering as an Owner Sales Representative, calling on technology based clients. In 2000 he assumed the position of Contracting Sales Manager at the newly created Houston, TX office.

Upon returning to Toronto in 2003, he held a position as a Project Manager with Urban Mechanical, one of the top mechanical contractors in Toronto. In 2004 while holding the position of Senior Project Manager, Chris was approached and accepted the position of Service Manager for York International’s Toronto operations, a $9,000,000 chiller and commercial service operation. In August of 2005, York was acquired by Johnson Controls and integrated into their Building Efficiencies Group. Due to Chris’s extensive background, he was declared a Subject Matter Expert with regards to HVAC systems and Service. 

In 2006 Chris joined Bondfield Construction to oversee the $30,000,000 dollar mechanical and electrical installations of the new Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Emergency department and Infrastructure Upgrade. 

In 2007, Chris along with John McKinnon and Bryon Backus, purchased an existing company and created Onyx Mechanical.

John McKinnonJohn McKinnon


John entered the HVAC field in 1985 and holds diplomas in both HVAC Systems Design and Energy Management. Graduating in 1988, he joined Energy Management Systems, a controls company located in Mississauga. From 1988 to 1991 John worked as a Controls Technician before assuming the position of Senior Project Manager. 

In 2003 John left EMS to join Urban Mechanical as a Senior Project Manager. John worked on several large projects before being promoted to Vice President of Operations in December 2003. Responsible for all aspects of field operations, including personnel, John demonstrated his leadership and skills, resulting in his promotion to Executive Vice President in April 2005. John continued in his leadership of Urban Mechanical, developing his understanding of the industry and establishing a solid reputation with all aspects of clients. 

Recognizing the need for change within the industry, John joined with Chris Nielsen and Bryon Backus to create a company whose sights were on the future, as a result, Onyx Mechanical was created.


Bryon BackusBryon Backus

Bryon, a Master Plumber by trade, began his apprenticeship with General Mechanical in 1986. In 1988 he joined Main Mechanical, continuing his apprenticeship till 1991 when Bryon became a licensed journeyman. Bryon continued with Main Mechanical until 1994 when they dissolved their operation. He next moved to Urban Mechanical in that same year. In 1997 Bryon assumed the position of foreman while working at Baycrest Hospital and has held that position since.  

In 2007 Bryon became licensed as a Master Plumber and joined with Chris Nielsen and John McKinnon to form Onyx Mechanical.