In November of 2015, the ceremonial shovels hit the ground at Scarborough's Guild Inn, formally kicking off the restoration process of a building—and a long-time community hub—that dates back to 1914. Now, almost a year and a half later, the revitalized and expanded inn has taken shape, with new construction photos showing exterior work nearing completion.
Located on Guildwood Parkway overlooking the Scarborough Bluffs, the historic inn was built as the residence of Colonel Harold Bickford over 100 years ago, the original building—once surrounded by practically untouched wilderness—was sold to the Catholic Church, sitting empty for a time before a purchase by Rosa and Herbert Clark in 1932.
It was the Clarks who re-imagined the space as an artists' colony, dotting the garden with an eclectic collection of architectural pieces, many of which were reclaimed from the beaux arts, neo-classical and neo-gothic buildings that were torn down to build 20th century Toronto.
Becoming a popular tourist destination, the inn was expanded with a 100-room addition in the 1960s, before sharply declining in popularity in the 1970s, and eventually closing. Behind the inn, the architectural garden survived intact as the space sat vacant, with the addition eventually demolished as the 1914 building gradually decayed.
Following decades of vacancy and disrepair—in which the basement repeatedly flooded and the building became uninhabitable—the re-invented Guild Inn is envisioned as an event venue. Now owned by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the $20 million redevelopment by Dynamic Hospitality and Entertainment Group adds new wings on either side of the historic building, with a grand ballroom set to accommodate crowds of up to 1,500.
Designed by architects Peter Pascaris and Giancarlo Garofalo, the new wings are designed to fit into the surrounding scenery, while defering aesthetic prominence to the 1914 building via a very simple, rectilinear design.
Recent construction photos show the heritage structure's restored exterior, as well as the stone and wood-tone frontages of the new wings.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available, and the project continues to take shape. In the meantime, you can learn more by checking out our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment on this page, or join the conversation in our associated Forum thread.