Interpretive Plan for Guild Inn Redevelopment
prepared by Philip Goldsmith, Architect for Dynamic Hospitality and Entertainment Group
The site of the Guild Inn is once again undergoing a transformation. With the removal of additions added during the 1930s – 1950’s, the Bickford House will return to the form acquired by former site owners and operators, Rosa and Spencer Clark in 1932. To this will be added new wings, a ceremonial pavilion to the east and to the west a grouping of banquet and events rooms for conference, reception and meeting purposes. Although physically altered the buildings will continue the legacy of the Clarks as a special place of gathering and celebration.
As part of the approval process for this revitalization, the City of Toronto required the preparation of an interpretive plan. The 31-page report recommends focusing attention on the "Guild Inn building history and artistic context" explaining “The site has a remarkable history as a Canadian Arts and Crafts colony” which evolved from a summer estate to become a unique artists' cooperative community, a centre for military activity and later a popular hotel."
The document also provides a valuable record of many of the original buildings (most now demolished) and the activities that were once part of the grounds at Guild Park and recommends using information panels, site-related artwork and artifacts, print materials and site-specific electronic media.
Commissioned by the facility operator, Dynamic Hospitality & Entertainment Group the plan was done by heritage architect Philip Goldsmith in March 2015. He's worked on Guild Park projects for years and has prepared a series of plans for this 88-acre public site. His previous work includes the 2009 "cultural precinct" plan, which proposed returning working artists' studios, and indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces to Guild Park.
The Guild Inn Estate Interpretive Plan also recommends the City of Toronto develop a comprehensive and "corresponding Interpretive Plan for the larger [Guild Park] site ... so that the visitor has a seamless and consistent interpretation program experience."See full Interpretive Plan – March 18 2015