Guild Inn Estate/Guild Park & Gardens – Once a Home, Hotel & Artist Colony

Posted:

1921 - Today's Guild Inn Estate was originally the home of the Bickford family
1921 – Today’s Guild Inn Estate was originally the home of the Bickford family (Toronto Public Library TSPA_0111073F)

The beautiful Guild Inn Estate and Guild Park & Gardens are located at ‪201 Guildwood Parkway‬ in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.

Ranelagh Park

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.

2020 – Four Ionic capitals and columns remnants from the Banker's Bond Building, once at 60 King St W from 1920 to 1973 and designed by architect JA MacKenzie, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – Four Ionic capitals and columns remnants from the Banker’s Bond Building, once at 60 King St W from 1920 to 1973 and designed by architect JA MacKenzie, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens

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 cooperative for artists/artisans. 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

2020 – The entrance remnants from the Imperial Bank of Canada, once at 802 Yonge St just north of Bloor St W from 1928 to 1972 and designed by architects Langley & Howland, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The entrance remnants from the Imperial Bank of Canada, once at 802 Yonge St just north of Bloor St W from 1928 to 1972 and designed by architects Langley & Howland, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens

In the 1960s, Toronto went 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

1921 - Today's Guild Inn Estate was originally the home of the Bickford family
1921 – Today’s Guild Inn Estate was originally the home of the Bickford family (Toronto Public Library TSPA-0111073F)
2020 - The Guild Inn Estate and Guild Park & Gardens are located at ‪201 Guildwood Parkway‬ in Scarborough
2020 – The Guild Inn Estate and Guild Park & Gardens are located at ‪201 Guildwood Parkway‬ in Scarborough
1944 - Looking north towards the back of the Guild Inn/Guild of All Arts. Today the property is known as Guild Inn Estate
1944 – Looking north towards the back of the Guild Inn/Guild of All Arts. Today the property is known as Guild Inn Estate (Toronto Public Library TSPA_0108031F)
2020 – The main entrance remnants from the Bank of Nova Scotia, once at 39 King St W from 1903 to 1969 and designed by architects Darling & Pearson, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The main entrance remnants from the Bank of Nova Scotia, once at 39 King St W from 1903 to 1969 and designed by architects Darling & Pearson, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The stone carving remnants from the Bank of Nova Scotia Building, once at 39 King St W from 1903 to 1969 and designed by architects Darling & Pearson, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The stone carving remnants from the Bank of Nova Scotia Building, once at 39 King St W from 1903 to 1969 and designed by architects Darling & Pearson, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The Ionic capitals and columns from the interior of the Bank of Nova Scotia Building, once at 39 King St W from 1903 to 1969 and designed by architects Darling & Pearson, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The Ionic capitals and columns from the interior of the Bank of Nova Scotia Building, once at 39 King St W from 1903 to 1969 and designed by architects Darling & Pearson, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – Four Ionic capitals and columns remnants from the Banker's Bond Building, once at 60 King St W from 1920 to 1973 and designed by architect JA MacKenzie, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – Four Ionic capitals and columns remnants from the Banker’s Bond Building, once at 60 King St W from 1920 to 1973 and designed by architect JA MacKenzie, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The entrance remnants from the Imperial Bank of Canada, once at 802 Yonge St just north of Bloor St W from 1928 to 1972 and designed by architects Langley & Howland, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The entrance remnants from the Imperial Bank of Canada, once at 802 Yonge St just north of Bloor St W from 1928 to 1972 and designed by architects Langley & Howland, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 –The centre entrance, remnants from the Bank of Toronto Building, once located on the southwest corner of King St W and Bay St from 1912 to 1966 and designed by architects Carrere & Hastings, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 –The centre entrance, remnants from the Bank of Toronto Building, once located on the southwest corner of King St W and Bay St from 1912 to 1966 and designed by architects Carrere & Hastings, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The Corinthian capitals and columns from the Bank of Toronto Building, once located on the southwest corner of King St W and Bay St from 1912 to 1966 and designed by architects Carrere & Hastings, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens. The columns and capitals were reconstructed to form the open-air Greek Theatre in the park
2020 – The Corinthian capitals and columns from the Bank of Toronto Building, once located on the southwest corner of King St W and Bay St from 1912 to 1966 and designed by architects Carrere & Hastings, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens. The columns and capitals were reconstructed to form the open-air Greek Theatre in the park
2020 – Remnants from the Toronto Star Building, once at 80 King St W from 1929 to 1972 and designed by architects Chapman & Oxley, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – Remnants from the Toronto Star Building, once at 80 King St W from 1929 to 1972 and designed by architects Chapman & Oxley, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – Remnants from the Temple Building, once on the northwest corner of Bay St & Richmond St W from 1895 to 1970 and designed by architect G W Gouinlock, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – Remnants from the Temple Building, once on the northwest corner of Bay St & Richmond St W from 1895 to 1970 and designed by architect G W Gouinlock, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – A pillar remnant from The Registry of Deeds and Land Titles Building, once on Albert St from 1915 to 1964 (when Albert St extended west of Bay St) and designed by architect Charles S Cobb, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens. The building was torn down to build the new City Hall
2020 – A pillar remnant from The Registry of Deeds and Land Titles Building, once on Albert St from 1915 to 1964 (when Albert St extended west of Bay St) and designed by architect Charles S Cobb, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens. The building was torn down to build the new City Hall
2020 – Remnants from the Canadian Bank of Commerce Building, once on the northwest corner of Yonge St and Bloor St W  from 1899 to 1972 and designed by architects Darling & Pearson, is  on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – Remnants from the Canadian Bank of Commerce Building, once on the northwest corner of Yonge St and Bloor St W from 1899 to 1972 and designed by architects Darling & Pearson, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2021 – The remnant from the Bank of Montreal Building, once on the northwest corner at Bay St and King St W,  from 1948 to 1972 and designed by architects Marani & Morris, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2021 – The remnant from the Bank of Montreal Building, once on the northwest corner at Bay St and King St W, from 1948 to 1972 and designed by architects Marani & Morris, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2021 – The remnant from the Bank of Montreal Building, once on the northwest corner at Bay St and King St W,  from 1948 to 1972 and designed by architects Marani & Morris, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2021 – The remnant from the Bank of Montreal Building, once on the northwest corner at Bay St and King St W, from 1948 to 1972 and designed by architects Marani & Morris, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – A remnant from the North American Life Assurance Building, once at 112 King St W from 1932 to 1976 and designed by architects Marani, Lawson & Morris, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – A remnant from the North American Life Assurance Building, once at 112 King St W from 1932 to 1976 and designed by architects Marani, Lawson & Morris, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – Remnants from both the Quebec Bank (founded 1818), once at 37 King St W  from 1912 to 1969 and designed by architect S G Curry, and the Toronto General Trust Building, once at the northeast corner of Bay St and Melinda St from 1919 to 1969 and designed by architect George Miller, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens. The buildings were demolished to make way for Commerce Court
2020 – Remnants from both the Quebec Bank (founded 1818), once at 37 King St W from 1912 to 1969 and designed by architect S G Curry, and the Toronto General Trust Building, once at the northeast corner of Bay St and Melinda St from 1919 to 1969 and designed by architect George Miller, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens. The buildings were demolished to make way for Commerce Court
2020 – The Ionic capitals remnants from the Medical Building University of Toronto, from 1904 to 1967 and designed by architects Darling & Pearson, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens. Sir Frederick G Banting and Charles Best researched insulin in the building
2020 – The Ionic capitals remnants from the Medical Building University of Toronto, from 1904 to 1967 and designed by architects Darling & Pearson, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens. Sir Frederick G Banting and Charles Best researched insulin in the building
2020 – The gates are from the Gibson House at 3 Dale Ave in Rosedale, and terra-cotta stonework from the Produce Exchange Building, once at Scott St and Colborne St on the southeast corner and built in 1890, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The gates are from the Gibson House at 3 Dale Ave in Rosedale, and terra-cotta stonework from the Produce Exchange Building, once at Scott St and Colborne St on the southeast corner and built in 1890, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The main entrance remnant from The Granite Club, once at 63 St Clair Ave W from 1926 to 1973 and designed by architects Page & Steele, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The main entrance remnant from The Granite Club, once at 63 St Clair Ave W from 1926 to 1973 and designed by architects Page & Steele, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – Remnant from the Royal Conservatory of Music Building, once on the southwest corner of College St and University Ave from 1997 to 1968 and designed by architects Burke and Horwood, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – Remnant from the Royal Conservatory of Music Building, once on the southwest corner of College St and University Ave from 1997 to 1968 and designed by architects Burke and Horwood, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The school entrance remnant from the R H King Collegiate Institute, once at St Clair Ave E and Kingston Rd in Scarborough from 1922 to 1976 and designed by architects Gouinlock & Carter, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The school entrance remnant from the R H King Collegiate Institute, once at St Clair Ave E and Kingston Rd in Scarborough from 1922 to 1976 and designed by architects Gouinlock & Carter, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The fireplace from 46 Bedford Rd, which was once the home of Sir Frederick G Banting, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens. Sir Banting discovered insulin in 1922 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1924. He built the home at 46 Bedford Rd in 1928 and lived there until 1933
2020 – The fireplace from 46 Bedford Rd, which was once the home of Sir Frederick G Banting, is on display at Guild Park & Gardens. Sir Banting discovered insulin in 1922 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1924. He built the home at 46 Bedford Rd in 1928 and lived there until 1933
2020 - The flywheel, crank and drive-pulley of a stone gang-saw used for cutting slabs from quarried blocks of stone or marble are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The flywheel, crank and drive-pulley of a stone gang-saw used for cutting slabs from quarried blocks of stone or marble are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The bell and belfry remnants from the Victoria Park School, once on the northwest corner of Victoria Park Ave and  Highway 401 from 1873 to 1964, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The bell and belfry remnants from the Victoria Park School, once on the northwest corner of Victoria Park Ave and Highway 401 from 1873 to 1964, are on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The Osterhout Log Cabin, the oldest building in Scarborough, was built in 1795 by Augustus Jones and commissioned by John Graves Simcoe to survey Scarborough. In 1805, William Osterhout received the first crown grant of the land from King George III. The cabin is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2020 – The Osterhout Log Cabin, the oldest building in Scarborough, was built in 1795 by Augustus Jones and commissioned by John Graves Simcoe to survey Scarborough. In 1805, William Osterhout received the first crown grant of the land from King George III. The cabin is on display at Guild Park & Gardens
2021 – Mobius Curve by Michael Clay, a resident Guild sculptor, on display at Guild Park & Gardens located at ‪201 Guildwood Parkway‬ in Scarborough
2021 – Mobius Curve by Michael Clay, a resident Guild sculptor, on display at Guild Park & Gardens located at ‪201 Guildwood Parkway‬ in Scarborough
2021 – Saint Francis & The Wolf by Thomas Bowie, a resident Guild sculptor (from 1955-1963), on display at Guild Park & Gardens located at ‪201 Guildwood Parkway‬ in Scarborough
2021 – Saint Francis & The Wolf by Thomas Bowie, a resident Guild sculptor (from 1955-1963), on display at Guild Park & Gardens located at ‪201 Guildwood Parkway‬ in Scarborough
1950 - The Toronto City Directory showing the phone number of the Guild Inn (Guild of all Arts)
1950 – The Toronto City Directory showing the phone number of the Guild Inn (Guild of all Arts) (Toronto Public Library)
2020 - The plaque reads: 

Founded in 1932 

Rosa and Spencer Clark 

“Erected by colleagues and friends of Rosa and Spencer Clark as a tribute to their life work in conservation, the arts and other facets of community service. 

The Guild of Arts, co-founded by them as a haven for artists and craftsmen, became a cultural sanctuary attracting visitors from around the world. Rosa Clark, with her gifted talents, was an inspiration to all until her death in 1981. 

When major cities began their transition from classical stone and marble buildings to contemporary styles, Spencer Clark had the foresight to save the important features from over sixty buildings and create Canada's first architectural museum with a Greek theatre as the centrepiece. His collection of sculptures became the nucleus for his vision of a greater sculpture park. 

The Guild is an integral part of the social fabric of this country and has touched the lives of countless individuals and groups from every walk of life. It came into public hands in 1978 but Spencer Clark continued its operation and further enrichment until December 31, 1983. 

This plaque was donated in gratitude for cherished memories and was unveiled by the Honourable John Aird O.C., Q.C., B.A., L.L.D. Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.” 

Unveiled December 21, 1983
2020 – The plaque reads:

Founded in 1932

Rosa and Spencer Clark

“Erected by colleagues and friends of Rosa and Spencer Clark as a tribute to their life work in conservation, the arts and other facets of community service.

The Guild of Arts, co-founded by them as a haven for artists and craftsmen, became a cultural sanctuary attracting visitors from around the world. Rosa Clark, with her gifted talents, was an inspiration to all until her death in 1981.

When major cities began their transition from classical stone and marble buildings to contemporary styles, Spencer Clark had the foresight to save the important features from over sixty buildings and create Canada’s first architectural museum with a Greek theatre as the centrepiece. His collection of sculptures became the nucleus for his vision of a greater sculpture park.

The Guild is an integral part of the social fabric of this country and has touched the lives of countless individuals and groups from every walk of life. It came into public hands in 1978 but Spencer Clark continued its operation and further enrichment until December 31, 1983.

This plaque was donated in gratitude for cherished memories and was unveiled by the Honourable John Aird O.C., Q.C., B.A., L.L.D. Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.”

Unveiled December 21, 1983
2020 - Rosa and Spencer Clark Plaque
2020 – Rosa and Spencer Clark Plaque
SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

24,077FollowersFollow
103FollowersFollow
8,850FollowersFollow