The beautiful Guild Inn Estate and Guild Park & Gardens are located at 201 Guildwood Parkway in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.
Before the site became a stunning gallery of some of Toronto’s saved architectural fragments, the original two-storey residence built in 1914 was home to the Bickford family. Then known as Ranelagh Park, the estate stretched to the Scarborough Bluffs. In 1921, the family sold the property to the China Mission Seminary. Then from 1923 to 1932, an American businessman owned the property.
The Many Uses of the Guild Property
In 1932, Rosa and Spencer Clark purchased the property and formed “The Guild of All Arts.” It was their dream to make the estate into a co-operative for artists/craftsmen. Their vision was fulfilled. Visitors flocked to the country inn to be amongst the working artisans.
During WWII, the Guild Inn closed and was used for radio telegraphy training and as a hospital for war veterans. The Guild of All Arts re-opened in 1947, but the inn was mainly for guests as they could no longer fund the artists.
Rosa & Spencer Clark’s Vision
In the 1960s, Toronto was going through a building boom, and several heritage buildings were being demolished for a more modern downtown. Spencer got involved with preserving some of the City’s architectural history and began saving fragments of buildings, including those from the Temple Building, the Bank of Toronto, and many more. Those fragments were installed at the estate. By the 1970s, the Clarks were ageing, and in 1978, they convinced City Council to take over the property.
Guild Inn Estate/Guild Park & Gardens Today
Various groups managed the Guild Inn Estate over the next few decades; however, it fell into disrepair. The City entered into an agreement with Dynamic Hospitality & Entertainment Group and in 2017, the brand-new property and event space re-opened. The Guild Inn Estate hosts weddings, celebrations and more.
Visitors are free to stroll around the Guild Park & Gardens property to admire the historical architectural pieces from Toronto’s past.
Guild Inn Estate/Guild Park & Gardens Photos
- The Guild Inn Estate: A Century in the Making Signage
- Guild Inn Estate: Guild Inn History
- Photos: Denise Marie for TorontoJourney416
- Vintage Photos: Toronto Public Library