Skip to content

Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Building Storeys: Long Live the Guild

Read more articles by

The Guild Inn, 2008, by Olena Sullivan.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Heritage Toronto’s Gary Miedema final post in his series on at-risk heritage structures around the city included in their upcoming “Building Storeys” exhibit at the Gladstone Hotel that runs February 17-22.

– – – – – – – – – – –

If you grew up in Scarborough, you likely know what the “Guild Inn” is. Until it was closed in 2001, it seems like 3 degrees of separation connected everyone to the place, located roughly where Eglinton Avenue runs into Lake Ontario in Scarborough.  Like the Inn on the Park in Don Mills, it was a magnet for wedding receptions, anniversaries, and photo shoots.

And for good reason.  The Guild Inn was a place of romance and loaded with charm.  A rambling collection of additions upon additions, the core of the Inn itself was the country estate house of Colonel Harold C. Bickford.  Born in what is now Trinity Bellwoods Park in a demolished house called ‘Gore Vale‘ (Bickford’s family name was given to another park along the Garrison Creek between College Harbord and Bloor), Harold became a military man, fought in the in South Africa during the Boer War, rose to the position of Brigadier-General in World War I, and then led western anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia.  He built his house in Scarborough in 1914, with stables for his horses and a garage for his cars.  It was a perfect spot on the edge of the Scarborough Bluffs, on beautifully forested land. From his windows and lawns, Bickford and his large family enjoyed stunning views over Lake Ontario.

The former Bickford house prior to expansion as the Guild Inn. Photo courtesy of  Guildwood Village Residents Association

For a few years at least.  Bickford sold the home in 1921, and the building first became a house for Roman Catholic missionaries destined for China, then the home of a wealthy businessman.  Then, after sitting empty for a few years, the rambling estate was purchased by the daughter of a leading Ontario family and the heiress of a Brantford shoemaking company, Rosa Breithaupt Hewetson.

The year was 1932 — the darkest year of the Great Depression.  Meeting Spencer Clark, a young man who shared her vision, Rosa got married again and began “The Guild of All Arts” in earnest.

Rosa and Spencer Clark in the 1930s. Photo courtesy of  Guildwood Village Residents Association

At the heart of the Guild of all Arts was the Clarks’ commitment to the arts and crafts as elements necessary for the fullest enjoyment of life.  Influenced by Roycroft in New York, Rosa and Spencer invited artists and craftspeople to the Guild of All Arts, where they were provided room and board in return for sharing their work and skills with the Guild and its visitors.  Some of the original 40 acres of the guild lands were converted to fields in order to produce food on site and as cheaply as possible. Goods produced at the Guild — everything from weaving to leatherwork and sculpture — were sold in its gift shop. Further income would be gained from visitors who would come to take courses from the skilled artists and craftspersons on site,  and to enjoy the beautiful surroundings on top of the bluffs.

The plan struggled at first.  The arts and crafts never made as much money as hoped, but much of the art and furniture at the Guild was produced on site. The Clarks themselves invested their wealth in the place, converting Bickford’s stables and garages into studio buildings, building new cottages and studios, and purchasing hundreds of acres of additional surrounding land.  Best of all, visitors came, and the Clarks began to develop an Inn that did make money.  To make room for more guests, the Clarks themselves moved out of the original Bickford house in 1934.  It was then extended dramatically on both sides in the ’30s and early ’40s to accommodate guests.

The Guild Inn after extensions and additions. Photo courtesy of  Guildwood Village Residents Association

During WWII, the Guild of All Arts was requisitioned by the Canadian Government, and served as a training centre for the Women’s Royal Naval Service, then as a military hospital.  But the Clarks got it back in 1947 and picked up where they left off. Having acquired nearly 500 acres in the area prior to the 1950s, the Clarks then lead the development of about 400 acres of their land into what is now “Guildwood Village” — a small scale version of Don Mills, complete with the idealism and attention to detail of that landmark of urban planning, but without its industrial zone.

At centre are the old Guild Inn buildings, with the looming 1965 hotel addition above. Photo courtesy of Guildwood Village Residents Association

Some of the income from that development must have been invested in the new six storey concrete hotel tower the Clarks added to the east of the old Inn in 1965. That six storey addition sticks out on the grounds today — a “what were they thinking” kind of structure.  But it really embodies what the Clarks were about.  At the time of its building, the couple were known as architectural preservationists.  Members of numerous historical societies, they fought to save Toronto’s landmarks, and when many of those fell, they claimed or purchased some of their significant architectural elements.  They then hauled those carved chunks of stone out to Scarborough, where they hired stonemasons and craftspeople to reconstruct them around the grounds.  The Guild became a beautiful graveyard for remnants of some of Toronto’s grandest late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century buildings.

The 1965 addition through sculptural remnants, 2008, by Timothy Neesam

In their heart of hearts, however, the Clarks were never people committed to a historical era.  They were, instead, people committed to ideals which transcended particular dates — “Let us mingle the beautiful with the useful” read the motto of their now classic ‘50s suburb, Guildwood Village. When developing that village, the Clarks insisted that each home be designed by an architect in the latest modern style, and they had those homes placed on winding streets, minus sidewalks, that were influenced by the latest theories of urban planning.  Little wonder, then, that when it came to expand their hotel, they virtually ignored the historic architecture of the site, and went for the latest and best — a high rise concrete structure with flowing balconies looking out over the lake.

The 1965 hotel tower in 2008, long past its best days, by Rick Harris

Over the years, the Guild played host to an array of Canadian artists, craftspersons, and musicians — including Frances Gage, Sir Ernest MacMillan, A.J. Casson.  Visitors included Glenn Gould, Sir Lawrence Olivier and Lester B. Pearson.  Provincial and Federal governments held cabinet retreats on its beautiful and historic grounds.

By the late 1970s, however, the Clarks were aging, and they were eager to secure the future of their lives’ work after they were gone.  The best way to do so, they must have calculated, was to put the Inn in public hands. In 1978, they convinced the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to purchase the site (largely for the shoreline and bluffs), and Metropolitan Toronto to control it, at a price of eight million dollars. As part of the deal, the Clarks would continue to manage the Inn, without pay, for the next 5 years.  Rosa died in 1981 at the age of 93.  Spencer carried on with the place until his hold on its management expired in 1983.  He died in 1986.

Without the lofty ideals and impressive commitment of the Clarks, the Guild Inn languished in need of a future.  It became a series of failed plans as governments struggled to find a vision and tenant for the aging property — someone who would invest in it, and not just run it.  Delta Hotels managed the place for a couple of years, followed by CN Hotels, until Metro Toronto signed a 95 year lease with a company that planned to add two more hotel towers and two new parking garages to increase the number of rooms from 96 to over 400.

The surrounding community pulled together to fight that plan, and have worked hard to shape its future since. The development never broke ground, the lease was broken, and another suitor stepped in.  Somehow, the Inn continued to function until 2001, when in the chaos of amalgamation it was closed at the end of the season in October. The City of Toronto has carefully maintained the Sculpture Garden and grounds since, but the Inn itself has remained boarded up, and has badly deteriorated. As the city issued multiple requests for proposals for the site (and actually moved to alter the historical designation of the site in order to demolish the crumbling Inn itself), urban infiltrators and paranormal enthusiasts have found their way in to document its crumbling interior and rumoured (ghostly) inhabitants.

Today, after years of exhausting and divisive arguments over its future, the Guild Inn seems close to finally getting the life the Clarks hoped it might have.   Last year, the City of Toronto entered negotiations with Centennial College, which hopes to acquire the site as a home for its new Institute of Culture and Heritage Management.  In what appears to be a textbook perfect example of adaptive re-use, Centennial wants to use the restoration of the old Inn and its operation as a boutique hotel, restaurant, and conference centre as a training opportunity for its students. Above and beyond that,  Centennial seems at least interested in City plans to spend millions to turn the Guild Inn into a “Cultural Precinct” — to bring artists and craftspeople back to the site which, for over 50 years, played an important role in the development of the arts and crafts in Canada.

The latest plans call for the demolition of the 1965 concrete tower.  And in a cruel twist of fate, the former stable of the Bickfords — converted into artists’ studios and later a reception centre by the Guild Inn — burned to the ground this past Christmas. The rest of the Guild, however, is perhaps poised to finally rise from the ashes.



  1. It seems like it would make a great senior’s residence. anyone?

  2. My brother lived in Guildwood until recently. The Inn is a sad example of Toronto’s lack of money and vision — in any other city it would have been restored by now. Hope they get around to it soon.

  3. This is an excellent post, thank you so much.

    The issue with the 6-storey hotel building is unfortunate. It’s a beautiful building but almost completely incompatible with the old estate. I wish they could move it somewhere else along the water and restore it.

    Those at Centennial College with the vision are Scarborough’s heroes if they can pull this off nicely. And hopefully somehow the Clarks are commemorated for their determined efforts and contributions.

  4. The gardens on this property are beautiful. The tower demolition will improve the site immensely. The Local Councillor Paul Ainslie has worked closely with the community to ensure that this project moves forward to restore the property while maintaining its’ integrity. There is also a great arts festival on the grounds in August which is a must see. Thanks for profiling this site!

  5. I commend Gary Miedema for an excellent overview of the history of the Guild Inn.

    As the City Councillor for the area, part of my election platform encompassed the revitilization of the Guild Inn. I formed a Guild Park Action Committee with the Guildwood Community Assoc, the Guild Renaissance Group, and local residents to look at methods to restore the grounds to their former glory, with a healthy respect for the Clark’s vision.

    This group helped bring forward the Centennial College proposal, helped fast track the demolition of the old tower, assisted in the creation of the annual The Guild: Alive With Culture Arts Festival. New to the grounds this year will be a weekly Farmer’s Market with organic produce and foods.

    Unfortunately on Christmas day, the former carraige house at the front of the grounds did burn down. The community and myself want to work around this very unfortunate event and see a newer stronger Studio built in its place.

    The grounds, even with the successful addition of the Centennial College Cultural and Heritage Institute with its accompanying restaurants and amenities will continue to be fully accessible to the public. It will become the wonderful oasis in Toronto the Clarks envisioned it to be.

    Paul Ainslie, City Councillor
    Ward 43- Scarborough East

  6. Why destroy the tower? It’s a gem. Destroy the tower, and get rid of that ratty old building too. The heritage argument goes both ways.

  7. With regards to Shawn Micallef”s comments about the demo. The main building actually has a heritage listing on it. There are many features including the grand staircase jsut inside the main doorway local historians along with mysel, would likje saved.

    On the flipside, the tower does not have any listings on it. It is very much an eyesore the surrounding community wants to see come down. The Guildwood Village would be very happy to see something constructed on the grounds which doesn’t even involve a hotel

  8. I’m really looking forward to the Building Storeys exhibit but I’ll miss these posts. They offer a glimpse of the kind of interesting community history that is so easy to miss when you live/work outside of that community. As an Etobicoke girl I really appreciate this nod from the far east 🙂

    I agree with Shawn, the tower is gorgeous too. It’s to bad it has been labeled ‘incompatible’, can’t we just call it ‘historically/architecturally diverse’ and accept the property as it is?

  9. Paul> The listing is a technicality (though important) but perhaps you’ve inspired action to get the tower listed too.

    The main staircase and other features of the older building — all that’s great, and should be saved. But if you can so flippantly call the tower an “eyesore” so can I (and many other nebulous “local historians”) call that heap of a rambling old building an eyesore too. We could also match your mainstaircase with those perfect clam-shapped balconies towers, or the “estate” beauty of the old house with the stunning way the tower peeks out of the tree canopy on top of the bluffs. Tit for tat, etc.

    If the tower can so easily be dismissed by you and those nebulous “local historians,” so too can “we” reject a building that has nothing in common with Guildwood Village’s modern look. It’s out of place, all those ramshackle additions with no planning. It all renders it equally an eyesore, and must go along with the tower.

    You and your ratepayers may not like the tower, but that’s your taste, and that’s fine — but if you use heritage arguments to save the old building, they can be used to save the tower as well.

    I’m happy to stand behind the forward thinking sentiment expressed by the Clark’s so dramatically and concretely in the 1960s when they chose to embrace the contemporary by building the tower along side the fine older building. Theirs was a vision more in touch with what Toronto is today — new and old existing together harmoniously — than we might give them credit for.

    I’m not willing to erode their great legacy in this city and would not want to have to answer for doing so either.

  10. Thanks for profiling this wonderful site. Our family celebrated many a Christmas dinner at the Guild Inn in the 60’s. Weddings, birthdays and anniversary parties – the Guild played an important part in the lives of many Toronto residents. If you get a chance to walk in the gardens this summer, you are in for a real treat. It is an amazing property that we hope to see restored and revitalized.

  11. The heritage argument indeed does go both ways, but unfortunately this city has an increasing history of looking at our most recent history with blinders on. In fact, we are tearing down many of the very buildings that represent when Toronto had “come of age.” The 1960s tower is indeed a modern gem and works quite well with the site. I have no doubt that it’ll come down, but I also have little doubt that people will one day be writing about what a shame it was that “Toronto lost that quirky little 1960s modernist hotel tower on the lake with the wavey balconies.”

    Regardless, great to hear about Centennial College moving into the grounds. It seems like a natural fit.

  12. I’d hedge on the tower being a “gem”–for all its scalloped-balcony charm (kind of a spiritual cross between two other endangered landmarks, the Riverdale half-round and the Constellation on the Airport Strip), it always seemed an ungainly and self-conscious addition looming over the Guild Inn complex, like the Clarks tried to get hep by stapling on a Lapidus-sy high-rise “motor hotel” when, perhaps, they would have been better off with a more organic solution a la Ron Thom, Ray Moriyama, etc (or whomever they had on hand designing Guildwood Village) (NB: Thom was responsible for assembling the Greek Theatre on the Guild grounds). I mean, I’m not opposed to its retention, especially now that its style’s chic once again (to say nothing of the embodied-energy arguments against demolition), and I’d be happy if the heritage parameters were expanded to include rather than exclude it–maybe at last, it can be the “plus” the Clarks intended nearly half a century ago. But when it comes to judging the Guild Inn at large, let’s not overdo the revisionism and put the cart before the horse.

    Though just generally, when it comes to the local ratepayers, I’m not sure how cognizant they are of the inherent 50s/60s “heritageness” *in their own Guildwood Village backyard*–especially given the stylistic degradation over the years of elements such as the shopping plaza, etc.

  13. And on top of everything, perhaps the newfound Centennial College association is a godsend–maybe it’s awkward and “dated” from the POV of resort operation in these days of a Whistler/Blue Mountains retro status quo (reflected in the earlier, pre-Centennial Guild rebuilding plans), but it’d make for a nifty student residence. Restored, of course, i.e. no schlocking it up with “historical” details, at all–except 50s/60s contemporary, of course.

    And given the mandate of the Centennial College Cultural and Heritage Institute, I feel that including and acknowledging 50s/60s contemporary in its midst is all the more of a built-in essential, especially given how much of it out there is endangered or viewed unsympathetically. To see an institution like this martyring itself to a mawkish Disney-level retro-schlock concept of “heritage” (cf. the Old Mill Inn) would be disappointing, indeed…

  14. I live in the area and the grounds are certainly beautiful. The lakefront below is also a largely unknown gem. Sadly – and at minimum – the tower should be bulldozed. It is completely inappropriate to the site and a ridiculous location for such a building. Sooner the better.

    The real story is this as a case study for a property that has been badly mismanaged by the city. It could have been a valuable asset. I suggest that if this property was located in North York instead of Scarborough the city would have paid it a bit more attention long ago.

  15. James, I posted a little piece about the walk under the bluffs here last spring:

    However, it’s easy to that the tower is inappropriate, but hard to say why. Why? I do want to know — somebody please convince me. However, also tell me why the older building IS appropriate for this location — taking into account that the surrounding neighbourhood is modernist, and there are new towers nearby at the top of the hill at Guildwood and Kingston Road.

  16. @Shawn…. Guildwood and Kingston Rd. is quite a fair distance from this site but there are some equally dismal apartments blocks off Livingston. The biggest reason the tower is inappropriate is a terrible location for a hotel: probably because there are no businesses in the area – a fault of the original planning.

    Given the natural setting I’d suggest a big honking tower of concrete that looks more like a Cancun beach resort is not right. I’ve can’t speak to the older buildings: they have been closed for many years. The real value of this site is the beautiful grounds, not the buildings on them.

    Let’s not overstate the “modernist neighbourhood” either. It is a area of small 1950/60s homes that are much like the majority of central Scarborough. I’m not saying it is bad, it just isn’t unusual.

  17. Oh the irony – 50 years from now people will be decrying the “philistines” of the turn-of-the-century era that were rampantly destroying architecturally significant heritage structures because they were “eyesores that had no place in their neighbourhood”, just as 50 years ago people felt the same way about “hideous Victorian monstrosities” that had no place in modern Toronto. Given that the current generation prides itself on heritage preservation, it’s interesting that anything from the 1950s era is generally deemed to be unworthy of saving.

  18. Rob> Exactly. History repeats, and repeats. Same words, different structures. Repeat repeat. Sigh. Fashion is vicious and blinding.

  19. But Shawn, fashion is also just plain fun.

    A great discussion. In digging around to write the article, I found the on-line newsletters of the Guildwood Village Residents Association a useful resource to track the amazing twists and turns of plans for the site from the 90s to the present – a testament to the challenges of making such a hotel work, and to the commitment of the community to the site (with or without all of its buildings).

    Whether the tower stays or goes, I’m now curious about its architect. And my sense is that the tide is turning in favour of mid-century buildings in this city. The loss of the Bata building and the Inn on the Park put the issue squarely on the public agenda, and prodded many to join in their defense. And while more buildings will most certainly fall, recall the move to designate the Bregman and Hamman grocery store at Victoria Park Avenue and Ellesmere Road.

    Are we getting there?

  20. Gary> Style is fun (and wonderful) and eternal while fashion is fickle, loves nobody and is tyranny. The tower’s got style.

    If this place becomes an arts centre, the tower would seem to be perfect for housing artists who can work on the property. I didn’t think it would become a hotel again. There are certainly economic factors that are much bigger than this discussion, but with the mayor’s Tower Renewal program, this could be a perfect test case….

    ….huh. I think that’s an idea that has legs…

  21. The real story is this as a case study for a property that has been badly mismanaged by the city. It could have been a valuable asset. I suggest that if this property was located in North York instead of Scarborough the city would have paid it a bit more attention long ago.

    Comment by James

    Let’s get one thing straight – this has been a property that has been badly mismanaged by POLITICIANS, the current Councillor included. There have been many, many dedicated and hardworking City staff who have put many years of hard work into trying to make this site viable, with absolutely NO support from politicians who didn’t find it to be an electable platform.

    The sale of the site in 1978 was a very contentious issue for the then Metro Council, with many of the sitting politicians, the former Mayor from North York being one of them, voting AGAINST the purchase of the property from the Clarks, wanting instead for it to be sold to a property developer and razed to the ground in favour of condos or the like. So James is dreaming if he thinks that North York could have preserved it any better than Scarborough did. Part of the problem with inadequate funding that plagued that site since before amalgamation was that the Mega Mayor, aka the former Mayor from North York, adamantly refused to fund the operations on that site for the two terms he was in office, because he never wanted to purchase it in the first place!!

    Since then, dozens of gardeners, hospitality staff, cooks, maids, parks staff, security guards, cultural staff, tour guides, botanists, labourers and even volunteers have spent countless hours trying to keep that site alive, only to have their hands tied by the politicians who refused to allot the necessary resources to do so.

    Many have watched from the sidelines as decades of their hard work and effort has rotted away while community groups and politicians bicker over what is and what is not “worth” saving. The great irony is that the entire site is dedicated to preserving those great iconic pieces of architecture that did not survive demolition, because some politician somewhere didn’t figure it was “worth saving” either.

    Will we NEVER learn?

  22. James: the Livingston apartments are inherently “dismal” only if you’re prone to a blanket condemnation of virtually *all* 60s high-rise apartment construction in the 416. (An antidote to that kind of thinking might be the historiography here: ) Together with your amateurish dismissal of Guildwood Village as a mere “area of small 1950/60s homes that are much like the majority of central Scarborough”, it shows that you have a lot of learning to do re the issue of modern heritage *at large*, and most especially that within your midst–which isn’t even a matter of heritage *regulation*, so much as a simple matter of recognising and celebrating the specialness around you, not to mention the story behind said specialness. Which doesn’t mean the Guild Inn tower *must* be saved; but it undermines your own case against it.

    Incidentally, does anyone remember a notorious 15-years-ago John Bentley Mays G&M slamdown of the Guild Inn? (Wonder if he has second thoughts on that one…)

  23. Annoyed: Milne House (see the first of the “Building Storeys” posts here an interesting comparison with the Guild Inn – owned by the TRCA, managed by the City, and boarded up and deteriorating badly.

    But I think pinning this all on politicians is too easy. Politicians, after all, are elected to represent us. And while they are expected to lead, they can only go where they think people will follow.

    At a lecture a few years back at the Arts and Letters Club here in Toronto, Anthony Tung, a former New York City Landmarks Preservation Commissioner, made the point that cities only save their architectural/cultural heritage when people (ie. the electorate) care – in his words, when the city has a “culture of preservation.”

    Toronto has a long history of being a city on the make – not really believing in itself now, and always racing to remake itself. That’s given us much of the great city we have today. But it has also given us a city that is, afraid, perhaps, that if it isn’t willing to sacrifice the past for the future, it will never be great.

    Throw in the political nightmare of choosing where to invest relatively scarce public money in this huge mega-city of ours, and you’ve got a deteriorating Milne House and Guild Inn.

  24. Inspired by this thread, I took another look at the Livingston apartments yesterday–besides the fact that we might not do it this way today, what’s the problem with them? With their concrete canopies and lawn sculptures, they have a serene 60s stylishness, they’ve worn well, they don’t seem “ghetto”–the worst that can be said is that the southern of the two has been “sided”, but even that’s been felicitously handled, all things considered.

    But, to return to the Guild Inn: never mind the tower, I do have my concerns about the Inn proper, the Bickford house and all its add-ons–and this is from recalling its lovable hodgepodge quality that never seemed to know whether it wanted to be Roycroft North or (judging from patches of “motel moderne” glass brick and your usual litany of window stickers and tourist pamphlets) some old-school AAA-approved roadside rest stop. Perhaps as artistic patrons, Spencer + Rosa Clark never had the “refinement” of, say, Robert + Signe McMichael–but they really had an innate (albeit perhaps inadvertent) knack for the quirky, and the architectural assemblages on the grounds were the icing on the cake; which is why the Guild Inn became a cult fetish object for the kind of hippies and Queen Street artsy types who would have been glared at as alien beings within the straightlaced, stiff-upper-lip realm of the McMichael Collection. (In that sense, maybe the Guild Inn was more of a distant ancestor of the Gordon Monahan/Laura Kikauka “Funny Farm” up near Meaford, home base for the annual Electric Eclectics experimental-music festival.)

    Maybe it’s inevitable given the newfound institutional ownership and mandate, but I’m afraid that the quirks are destined to be gentrified away on behalf of the spirit of bourgeois, middlebrow Ralph Laurenish resortitecture–maybe not as drastically as the previous total-rebuild plans, but, still.

    In the meantime, if there’s still hope for highlighting the quirks, here’s a very tempting Spacing-universe mindworm: the Guild Inn + [murmur]…

  25. From the time I was 8, in 1933, I recall going down a winding trail from Kingston Rd. through dense woods along a wagon trail in winter to be greeted at the Guild Inn by Spencer Clarke. He would standing in the entranceway with a lovely log fire burning behind him. Later my New Year’s Day birthday would often be celebrated with relatives there. In 1967,my late wife Kathryn began teaching art there in Corycliff House and the log cabin along with Barbara Rogers, Elizabeth Williams and others forming the nucleus of what has become Cedar Ridge Creative Center.
    Many assorted fond memories indeed: may The Guild Inn arise like Phoenix soon.

  26. This is an excellent overview of the history of the Guild. As a granddaughter of Rosa and Spencer I am very proud but sad as well.It is difficult to look at the current pictures of the buildings. And to know that the Studio building has been lost is devastating. I am encouraged to hear about the proposal from Centennial College. Some one has to do something about this historic site. Unfortunately Toronto does not do a very good job in this department- never has- whether it be government or the private sector. We do not value our history until it is too late.
    The Guild Renaissance Group has worked for many years to try and save it. As a member of the family I’d like to thank them for all their efforts.
    I just hope and pray that the artifacts on the property are maintained. Please save something! Carolyn Amell

  27. Though this is an excellent overview of the history of the Guild,it is difficult to look at the current pictures of what were once magnificent buildings.

    It would be wonderful if the buildings/area could be revitalized much like the current Old Mill in the Bloor West area. It would draw people from all over the city and environs. Imagine a small hotel, spa, weekend brunches overlooking the lake and the gardens. It could have a lovely ballroom for galas and weddings also.

    The Guild could be a goldmine for whoever decides to develop it. We could truly revitalize our unique and magnificent Guildwood neighbourhood if someone would just start moving and do something to the Guild Inn and the property!

  28. “It would be wonderful if the buildings/area could be revitalized much like the current Old Mill in the Bloor West area.”

    Uh-uh, don’t use that as a model. It involved destroying the ruins of the Old Mill proper, which had been the whole symbolic point of the place, on behalf of Thomas Kinkade-ish reactionary schlock.

    It’s a demonstration of what happens when the local heritage/community groups in charge either have an amateurish grasp of the preservationist state of the art, or are martyrs to “ye olde” being the be-all and end-all.