The recent conversion of Scarborough's Guild Inn site from a disused hotel into a modern event venue has brought increased traffic to the picturesque Guild Park and Gardens to the south of the facility. The park is known for its ornate stone relics from former local landmarks lost to redevelopment over the years, including the 1938-built Globe and Mail Building and the 1891-built University Avenue Armoury. While larger elements from these lost buildings serve as standalone attractions within the park, smaller elements have been incorporated into 'Building 191', a two-storey concrete block and steel structure at the west end of site, designed in the 1960s by architect J.H.W. Bradfield.

Clark Centre for the Arts, Guild Inn restoration, Toronto, Taylor Hazell ArchiteBuilding 191 in May 2017, image by Jack Landau

Earlier this week, a proposal was submitted to the City for Building 191, seeking to expand the structure with a three-storey rear addition by Taylor Hazell Architects for future use as The Clark Centre for the Arts. In addition to adding levels and expanding the existing building's footprint, the plans would transform Building 191 from its current usage as a storage space into a community arts and culture facility. This new building would offer studio, gallery, and event space, capable of supporting public art programming, community outreach programs, art exhibitions, events, and facility rentals.

Clark Centre for the Arts, Guild Inn restoration, Toronto, Taylor Hazell ArchiteClark Centre for the Arts, image retrieved from submission to City of Toronto

The expansion and existing building would combine for 954 m² of space. Visitors would enter via a two-storey lobby and entry vestibule that doubles as programmable space. With a large percentage of the addition to be clad in glass, the darkened interior of the existing two-storey building would be given a natural light source. To make space for the new construction, an existing entry vestibule, furnace room, and chimney would be demolished.

The project also involves an extensive restoration of the existing building, which would only be minimally disturbed for the expansion, with the new structure to make use of an independent, dedicated structural system. Conservation work will involve the cleaning, repairing, and in some cases replacement of exterior elements including the concrete blocks, bricks, stucco, windows, and a currently obscured roof parapet.

The Guild Park and Gardens Arts Facility could open as early as 2020. In the meantime, you ca learn more about the greater Guild Inn redevelopment by visiting our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Visit the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.