Guild Park

Guild Park

Guild Park includes a Sculpture Garden featuring works by notable Canadian artists including Sorel Etrog, Emanuel Hahn, Francis Loring, E.B. White and Florence Wyle. This outdoor tour highlights those sculptures, as well as architectural remnants saved from dozens of Toronto’s heritage buildings demolished in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Guild Inn was an historic hotel in the Guildwood neighbourhood of Scarborough, Toronto. It was 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.

In 1999, the Guild park was designated a heritage property by the Heritage Canada Foundation. A non-profit group called Artscape approached the city with a proposed strategy for a cultural precinct on the Guild Inn site, which was met with interest. More concrete plans came, however, in 2008, when the city of Toronto approved a plan by Centennial College to operate a hotel, restaurant, and conference centre on the site for use in the school’s hospitality courses, as well as to act as a location to house the college’s Cultural and Heritage Institute.

Though a fire on 25 December 2008 destroyed The Studio, preparations for Centennial’s development continued, and the city in January 2009 approved the demolition of the hotel tower. In 2013, the Toronto Star reported that the park is in a state of decay with sculptures eroding and some plaques missing. The Heritage Canada Foundation characterizes the park’s situation as one of “demolition by neglect”. A volunteer group, Friends of Guild Park and Gardens, was formed in 2013 to try to rescue the park and restore the inn.

The park surrounding the abandoned Guild Inn has been used in recent pop culture pieces. The Guild Inn and surrounding area were used in the filming of “The Skulls”, the Warehouse 13 Pilot episode, and even in the popular artist Drake’s music video for his hit song “Headlines”.

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