City of Toronto Management Plan for Guild Park & Gardens
The City of Toronto Management Plan for Guild Park & Gardens describes the site as “a park like no other, Guild Park & Gardens is a special place where art and nature meet on the spectacular Scarborough Bluffs.”
From this Management Plan, the City of Toronto has set up an advisory “Resource Group” made up of senior city officials, along with citizens and community/cultural organizations that use and are familiar with Guild Park. Participants in this advisory group include: Friends of Guild Park, Guildwood Village Community Association, Guild Renaissance Group, Guild Festival Theatre and Cedar Ridge Creative Centre. Invitations to participate have also gone to schools, groups representing seniors, youth, the environment and other stakeholder organizations.
The Management Plan for Guild Park was commissioned by the city’s Department of Parks, Forestry & Recreation (PFR). The aim is to set a foundation so PFR can manage and operate the 88-acre site in collaboration with:
- the property owner, Toronto & Region Conservation Authority;
- other city departments, and
- the public.
It’s the result of about a year of research and a series of interactive stakeholder and public workshops held at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate in April and June 2013. The report identifies four “management themes” for Guild Park, each one comes under the ongoing responsibilities of the city’s parks department and its team of advisors. These include:
- natural heritage (including forests, geology, wildlife)
- cultural heritage (including architecture, artwork, buildings)
- horticulture/park (including formal gardens, lawns, park assets)
- trails (including how people travel through the park)
The Management Plan lists nine other “intersecting plans and initiatives” affecting Guild Park’s future, as well as the separate “development proposal” for an on-site restaurant/ special events/ community space facility. This proposal is currently being negotiated between the city and Dynamic Hospitality and Entertainment. None of these 10 plans and proposals are the responsibility of the City’s Parks Department so they aren’t considered as part of this latest Management Plan.
However, the Management Plan recommends that the “overarching priority initiative” for Guild Park is creating a “Master Plan” to identify, evaluate and implement an integrated strategy covering the many complex and interconnected components of the entire park. Creating such a Master Plan is, according to the document, “a public process.”
The Management Plan for Guild Park & Gardens also identifies 17 short-term “priority initiatives” and 15 “other initiatives” to improve the park. A copy of the full document, including photos, charts, maps and all 33 recommendations is available at this link