The Guild Inn

by Veronica on May 5, 2010

I grew up in Guildwood Village, a lovely little enclave in east Scarborough, Ontario. The Guild Inn, built in 1914 on top of the Scarborough Bluffs was the centrepiece of this neighbourhood. From the time I was a young child to when I left home as a young adult, I loved to wander the gardens. Last year I moved back to the old neighborhood after an absence of  40 years.  I can visit a lot more often now. But things have changed.

A grand lady in a dilapatated state

The story of  “the Guild” is both romantic and tragic. Rosa and Spencer Clark bought the property in 1932 and turned it into the Guild Of All Arts, a residence where in exchange for room and board, talented artists created and displayed their works on the property.

In the early 40s the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service were housed at the Guild,  followed by the  government turning it into a place where returning war veterans went to recuperate. In 1947 it became the Guild Inn once again, and for the next 35 years, the Clarks amassed a huge collection of art work including many ornate architectural fragments from Ontario buildings. These bits and pieces of buildings were sold to the Province of Ontario in 1978. In 1996 the City of Toronto took over stewardship of the Guild and its artifacts.  The hotel was closed in 2001 and the city approved the demolition of the building in January 2009.

A piece of the past

Crab apples in bloom with architectural artifact

Stately gate leading to the Scarborough Bluffs

The border beginning to wake up

What remains is a lovely park in a natural setting dotted with  beautiful and impressive facades. The original perennial border is still there, although I remember it as being much more grand.


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