Saturday, July 29, 2017

Guild Park Arts Festival

Located along the edge of the Scarborough Bluffs, the park is home to many orphan architectural pieces from Toronto's past and this weekend the park comes 'Alive with Culture'. The 10th annual festival takes place July 29-30 in the Guild Park and Gardens at 201 Guildwood Parkway in Scarborough.
The fest had an Artists' Market, live entertainment, Guild Heritage Exhibits, Taste of the Guild and a Beer Garden by the Olde Stone Cottage Pub and Children's Activities. While there is no parking on site they have shuttle buses running every 20 minutes between several parking lots that have free parking. Festival hours are 10am to 6pm on Saturday and till 5pm on Sunday.

Formerly known as Guildwood Park, the scenic setting has seen some amazing improvements since the last time I was there - the Inn has been redeveloped and looks amazing and the grounds are still getting fixed up with sod and seed. There are sculptures mixed in with the building remnants and there are several trails that you can take to explore the area - Livingston Trail, Guild Park Trail and the Guild East Trail. It is a beautiful place to hold a wedding, but I wouldn't do it during a major festival.
The Inn was originally built as a mansion for Colonel Harold Bickford in 1914, taken over by the Canadian Government as a training base during World War II and returned to use as a hotel in 1947 by owners Rosa and Spencer Clark. From the City's website: "For the next 35 years, the Clarks built a reputation as patrons of the arts and preservationists, amassing a huge art collection and preserving architectural fragments from dozens of demolished buildings. The property and the architectural fragments were sold to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority in 1978 to be maintained as a public park. Spencer Clark continued to run the hotel until 1983, when a Board of Management was formed to oversee operations. At the time of the City's amalgamation, the Board was disbanded and the City’s Economic Development and Culture Division took over responsibility for the sculpture and architectural fragments, while the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division began to manage the surrounding parkland. The hotel continued to operate under contract management until it closed in 2002 when it was considered no longer viable without a major capital infusion."

Entrance to the boys room

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