Guild Inn


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The Guild Inn was an historic hotel in the Guildwood neighbourhood of Scarborough, and also once an artists' colony. The surrounding Guild Park is notable for a sculpture garden consisting of the rescued facades and ruins of various demolished downtown Toronto buildings such as bank buildings, the old Toronto Star building and the original Granite Club.

A 33 room manor built in 1914 atop the Scarhorough Bluffs for Colonel Harold Bickford, the building was sold to the Roman Catholic Church's Foreign Mission Society in 1921 and renamed the China Mission College. It was however, soon abandoned and remaining so until 1932 when it was purchased by Rosa Breithaupt Hewetson. After her marriage to Herbert Spencer Clark, the couple continued to reside in the mansion, and there fostered the arts, turning the home into a museum that eventually became The Guild of All Arts.

The Clarks created across their property homes and workshops for artists, such as The Studio, which was assembled out of a garage and a stable from different parts of the grounds; it accommodated those practising batik, woodworking, weaving, and metalworking. The Clarks also began collecting architectural elements from demolished buildings and erecting them in the gardens of the Guild as follies.

The Guild Inn proved so popular as a lakeside resort and artisans' community that in 1965 a six storey, 100 room addition and a swimming pool were added, plus further renovations in 1968. A decade later, in 1978, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority purchased the Guild Inn and continued its operation as a hotel. The inn's fortunes declined over the years, and as the city of Scarborough grew more urban, became less desirable as a vacation spot. In 1993, with the buildings noticeably run down, the property was turned over to the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, which used the park and structures for private functions; namely, wedding photo shoots.

In 1999, the park was designated a heritage property by the Heritage Canada Foundation and by 2001 the hotel and restaurant were closed, with only the park remaining open to the public, while new tenants were sought.

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