Paul Ainslie  

Bickford (Guild Inn) Residence Restoration Plans
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Guild Park and Gardens Monument Relocation Plan - PDF



News Release

From the Office of

Councillor Paul Ainslie

Ward 43 - Scarborough East

April 14, 2009

Guild Inn Hotel Tower Demolition

Scarborough East: Councillor Paul Ainslie (Scarborough East Ward 43) together with Ann Buller, President of Centennial College, Timo Puhakka, President of the Guildwood Village Community Association, and Sandy Muir, Chair and Janet Heise, Director of the Guild Renaissance Group mark the beginning of a new phase for Guild Park & Gardens, and a new relationship with Centennial College. 

“A new beginning is emerging for the Guild Inn site.  We have been working towards this day for quite some time for the promise of rejuvenation to take place.”  Councillor Paul Ainslie exclaimed.  “The Guildwood neighbourhood is a proud one as is the entire Scarborough East community; we over the years have always referenced the Guild Inn as our landmark and have been striving for its revitalization.” Ainslie added.

Built in 1965 the 6 storey 100 room hotel tower has been in a state of disrepair for several years.  An eyesore attached to the historical designated Bickford Inn and lovely Guild Park & Gardens, the tower has been slated for demolition for some time.

The demolition work will begin on Monday April 20, 2009 and is expected to be completed within a three month period. It will occur from floor to floor, starting from the top floor down. The connecting hallway to the Bickford Inn will be removed by hand to insure that there will be no demolition damage caused to the structure.

“The demolition project will be completed in time for our annual The Guild: Alive with Culture Festival, which has this year been extended to a two day event on August 15 and 16.  Last year over 2500 people visited the site during the festival.”  Councillor Ainslie stated.

Centennial College is proposing to invest $30 million at the Guild Park & Gardens to develop their world renowned Cultural and Heritage Institute along with a boutique room hotel, restaurant and a conference centre. 


- 30 -
For further information:
Paul Ainslie, City Councillor
Ward 43 Scarborough East


Back Ground

Built in 1914 as Ranelagh Park for Colonel Harold Child Bickford. The Georgian-style home has 33 rooms.
1921,  Sold to the Foreign Missionary Society of the Roman Catholic Church and renamed China Mission College.
1932,  Sold to Rosa Breithaupt Hewetson who was married to Herbert Spencer Clark and continued to reside in home and added status as a museum. During World War II, it became The Guild of All Arts.
1941 to 1942, Additions were added then it was given to the federal government as a military hospital and renamed HMCS Bytown II by the Women's Royal Naval Service or WRENS. After the war, it remained as a hospital for nervous disorders and renamed as Scarborough Hall
1947, the home was returned the  Clarks and re-established as the Guild of All Arts.
1953 Clarks' sold the home to the municipal government of Metro Toronto
1965  6 storey 100 room east wing was added in and other renovations completed in 1968. At this time the property was still owned and operated by Herbert and Rosa Clark.
1978 ownership change to Metro Toronto and the Regional Conservation Authority purchased the remaining property in 1978
1993  control over the run down property returned back to the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. The park and the property was used for private functions, namely for wedding photo shoots.
2001  the Hotel and restaurant was closed  but Guildwood Park remains open.
2007 Quick action was taken to deal with the Guild Inn property after the previous proponent walked away from the project.  The Guild Park Advisory Committee was created by Councillor Ainslie comprised of citizen members and city staff held its first meeting in May 2007.  Since then it kept the momentum for the Guild Inn Property alive and on the front burner.  It encouraged interested parties to come forward while keeping the site in the news.

2008 September City Council gave city staff the go ahead to commence negotiations with Centennial College in their bid to revitalize the Guild Inn.  Centennial College has proposed to invest $30 million at the Guild Inn to develop their Cultural and Heritage Institute along with a boutique room hotel, restaurant and a conference centre. 


Introductions and Welcome:

Councillor Paul Ainslie
(Ward 43 Scarborough East)

Comments from Community Organizations:

Timo Puhakka, President
Guildwood Village Community Association

Sandy Muir, Chair & Janet Heise, Director
Guild Renaissance Group

Comments from Centennial College:

Ann Buller, President of Centennial College

Photograph of principles with Tower

Questions and Answers Session 




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