Friends of 
Guild Park  
& Gardens
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  • 11 Mar 2017 2:52 PM | Kate Kennedy (Administrator)

    The City of Toronto's Arts Services division of Economic Development & Culture provides the latest details about the work now underway to re-open a unique arts facility, along with arts programming, at Guild Park.

    The website includes updates on the architect, Taylor Hazell Architects, selected to create the multi-use design for the building. This online resource also includes the history and describes many of the architectural features now on view at Guild Park's Monument Walk.

    Here's the link to the new website:

  • 29 Jan 2017 7:15 PM | Kate Kennedy (Administrator)

    On January 5th, 2017 John Mason, President of Friends of Guild Park and Gardens presented a deputation at City hall and letter from the Guild Park Stakeholder group in support of a Trail Master Plan for Guild Park. On January 27th it was confirmed Guild Park and Gardens Trails Master Plan capital project will be included in the City of Toronto 2017 Parks, Forestry and Recreation Capital Budget and Plan.

    Key design considerations for trails at Guild Park identified in Trails Master Plan Report compiled by Friends of Guild Park and Gardens:

    • Environmental protection – relating to designated Environmentally-Sensitive Areas (ESAs), the waterfront and Scarborough Bluffs
    • Public safety – preventing falls along the Bluffs/injuries along unimproved trails; protecting against poison ivy, harmful vegetation, tree/branch falls
    • Cleanliness – easy public access to waste containers; routine servicing/maintenance of waste containers and public areas.
    • Maintenance/responsibility issues affecting trails – given the many jurisdictions within the park)
    • Relate to the attributes/legacy of Guild Park – wildlife/ First Nations/pioneers/ artists etc.

    Recognizing the range of interests/abilities of park visitors – international tourists, first-time 

    guests, frequent visitors, local residents, neighbouring students. It is important to recognize that trails, pathways, sidewalks, walkways and the grounds at Guild Park are under near constant use for both “active” and “passive” pursuits – from early morning walks to nighttime special events. Examples of these uses include:
    • Heavy foot traffic by pedestrians – especially between parking areas and key park attractions during daylight and after dark.
    • Regular use by trucks/service vehicles – park maintenance/solid waste pick-up/ special event activities/first responders
    • Specialized accessibly for people with disabilities
    • Bicyclists
    • Dog walkers
    • Recreational walkers
    • Parents using strollers/carriages with children
    • Seniors using walkers/mobility scooters
    • Artists/naturalists/photographers 

    Consider four distinct trails/pathways areas:

    • West Trail with two new boardwalks (in process)
    • Monument Walk linking to “formal” Garden Path area (includes vehicle parking areas)
    • Waterfront Trail including public access from Guildwood Parkway 
    • East Trail adjacent to Jack Miner School 

    Common elements for each trail – with consistent design/signs/markers

    • Noticeboard/Map of park and trails
    • Welcome & Trail Information – visitor responsibilities/ notable highlights/ identification
    • markers for trees/flower / interpretation
    • Info hot-line for improvements/repairs/emergencies
    • Garbage/recyclingbins/bags
    • Dog poop bags /waste pick-up
    • Possibility of video monitoring for security
    Accessibility of trails – location, material, edging, - determined by:
    • environmental constraints
    • traffic volumes/location
    • types of users (pedestrians, bicyclists, service/emergency vehicles (TRCA jurisdiction)

  • 10 Sep 2016 12:03 PM | Kate Kennedy (Administrator)

    In response to the situation highlighted in this BlogTO post  FGPG reached out to the Free the Greek Gods to suggest Toronto's Guild Park as a potential new public home for E.B. Cox's important Greek Gods sculptures. As John Mason outlined "There's already a strong connection between E.B. Cox and Guild Park. In 1979, Cox and fellow Canadian sculptor, Michael Clay, together created the Bear figure at Guild Park (see photo). The brown bear's sculpted features show the distinctive markings from E.B. Cox's air chisel. The Bear is a favourite among Guild Park visitors, especially children. Another connection is that Guild Park is home to four sculpted figures by Canadian sculptors Frances Loring and Florence Wyle, who were influential on E.B. Cox's career."  Guild Park has ample public space to display all of the Greek gods. The new Monument Walk at Guild Park would be a wonderful location for these important works. This public walk was created last year. It leads from one of the park's pedestrian entrances, through a forest and garden setting, to the top of the Scarborough Bluffs. The Greek gods would also complement Guild Park's "Greek" Theatre.. This structure was designed by Canadian architect Ronald Thom using marble Corinthian columns and arches salvaged from the 1912 Bank of Toronto Building. The Guild Renaissance Group and Friends of Guild Park are award-winning volunteer organizations active in bringing more awareness and activity to Guild Park. I'm a member of both groups and would welcome the opportunity to contact the people who've already been leading the initiative to "Free the Greek Gods." You can get more info

    However, the group is hoping to see E.B. Cox's sculpture collection relocated to the Rose Garden, which is just south of the Bandshell at Exhibition Place.

  • 30 Aug 2016 9:27 PM | Kate Kennedy (Administrator)

    John Mason highlights a link between the 1912 ceiling mural rediscovered at Queen's Park and Guild Park.

    "The newly-found paintings of 104 maple leaves above the Ontario Legislature was the work of Gustav Hahn, the older brother of Canadian sculptor Emanuel Hahn.

    Emanuel Hahn's two sculptural designs that once graced the Bank of Montreal's downtown Toronto headquarters are among the pieces of public art now at Guild Park. He designed the panels for the Arctic and Northwest Territories displayed near Guild Park's formal gardens.

    The younger Hahn also created the design for the Bluenose schooner on the Canadian dime and the caribou head on our quarter.

    Both Hahn brothers went on to teach at what was then the Ontario College of Art. It was there that Emanuel taught Elizabeth Wyn Wood, the sculpture student whom he married in 1926.

    Elizabeth Wyn Wood went on to become an exceptional sculptor, whose works are displayed at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery in Ottawa, and also at Guild Park (the "provincial panels" depicting Manitoba and Saskatchewan)."

    The Toronto Star article by Robert Benzie about Gustav Hahn.

  • 26 May 2016 9:53 PM | Kate Kennedy (Administrator)

    In response to your requests, an online copy of the Guild Park Stakeholders Arts Report to the City of Toronto is now available at

    The information and ideas are meant to start the discussion about the type of arts programs and arts facilities that are appropriate for Guild Park - its legacy as the Guild of All Arts and the environmental and physical constraints within its 88 acres.

    This report has already been provided to the City's officials involved with Guild Park. We thank everyone who's already provided input and look forward to more ideas and comments about returning the arts to Guild Park.

    For those who'd like to provide their input directly to the City of Toronto's Arts Services team, you can give your comments through the City's online community survey at

  • 23 Apr 2016 11:05 AM | Kate Kennedy (Administrator)

    Beautiful weather for a Spring Cleaning day at Guild Park. Thanks to the Guildwood Village Community Assn. (GVCA) for including Guild Park as part of the morning clean-up. Local MPP Mitzie Hunter was among the people who came out to support the cause. Dozens of bags of trash got picked up by volunteers, with City of Toronto crews making the rounds later to dispose of all the refuse. 
    Many Guild Park visitors today got to see the two new park noticeboards now installed - one at the Livingston Road entrance (pictured); the other at the start of the park's new Monument Walk off of Guildwood Parkway.

    from FACEBOOK post by John Mason

    The Guild Park's photo.The Guild Park's photo.


  • 08 Apr 2016 11:36 AM | Kate Kennedy (Administrator)

    Councillor Paul Ainslie

    Toronto City Council Scarborough East - Ward 43

    Chair, Government Management Committee

    Date: March 23, 2016
    To: Economic Development Committee 

    Re: Nuit Blanche

    Nuit Blanche has had a positive effect on the City of Toronto and visitors who attended the spectacular event. The City of Toronto reported last fall that through an Ipsos Reid survey Nuit Blanche 2015 "generated an economic impact of about $41.5 million for Toronto...with an estimated attendance of over one million people, including 205,000 out-of-town visitors."

    As the planning for the Nuit Blanche 2016 is underway, I would like to take this opportunity to expand the experience into Scarborough for the 2017 season, specifically in the Guild Park and Gardens. The gardens would accommodate the event perfectly. Within its 88 acres stands a Greek amphitheater, several monuments and artifacts from great buildings across Ontario including a historical monument walk installed last year by our City Cultural division. The Guild Park and Gardens would be the perfect setting to expand the Nuit Blanch experience east of the City and is supported by the Guildwood Village Community Association.

    The site would be suitable for artistic installations and support visitors for the 2017 season to coincide with the revitalization for the Guild Park and Gardens and Guild Inn (Bickford Residence). The Nuit Blanche theme works well with the objectives of the Guild Park and Gardens which hosts, historical walks, an annual artist's festival, annual outdoor theatre performances. The revitalization will also bring art programs offered by the City of Toronto Cultural division.


    1. City Council direct the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture to explore including Guild Park and Gardens as a venue for Nuit Blanche 2017.


    Councillor Paul Ainslie
    City of Toronto Scarborough East Ward 43 

    Economic Development Committee Agenda Item - April 12

  • 26 Feb 2016 1:11 PM | Kate Kennedy (Administrator)

    City of Toronto Community Survey  re: Arts & Culture Programming at the Guild Park and Gardens - click here

    The City is looking for your input.  What types of art programming would you like to see at Guild Park and Gardens?  Are you interested in taking a course? Do you have an idea for the name of the new arts and culture facility?  Share you opinions and suggestions with the City. 

  • 01 Feb 2016 2:37 PM | Kate Kennedy (Administrator)

    Wood from ash trees killed by the Emerald Ash Borer has been transformed into innovative products thanks to a design competition organized by Ontario Wood, the City of Toronto and IIDEXCanada.

    More than a dozen products created from Toronto’s untapped ash wood resource are on display this week at the IIDEX Woodshop. Products range from outdoor lounge chairs to toy building blocks to wall-mounted bicycle stands.

    Guild Park was among the places ravaged by this invasive insect. About 3,000 ash trees were cut down in Guild Park due to a combination of the Emerald Ash Borer and damage from the 2014 ice storm. An estimated 200,000 ash trees across the city will be lost in the next 5 years due to this infestation .

    This year's "Woodshop aims to reduce the number of ash trees headed for the landfill by creating innovative, market-ready commercial and consumer prototypes," according to event organizers.
    The IIDEX Woodshop runs from today (Jan 18) through Sunday Jan 24 at the main Rotunda at Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. Admission is free.

    More info is available at:

  • 18 Nov 2015 7:09 PM | Kate Kennedy (Administrator)
    At the Nov. 17th Community Information Meeting about Guild Park, below are some of highlights from the question and answer session between the 150 attendees and City of Toronto officials. The session was chaired by Toronto City Councillor Paul Ainslie: 

    • Future traffic congestion along Guildwood Parkway for entering and exiting the park: The City will conduct traffic studies and was asked to consider traffic lights; reducing vehicle speed and creating bus lay-bys or “cut-aways.” Guildwood parkway will remain two lanes. 

    • Construction timeline for the new restaurant facility: The most optimistic estimate is approximately 12 months after actual construction start.

    • Displays of Guild Inn-related items/memorabilia: More than 1,500 items collected from the old Guild operations are being stored and catalogued; the City will work with Dynamic to arrange some way to display these items;

    • Why the modern design, with flat roofs, used for the new buildings (see image), when the original Guild Inn architecture is more old-fashioned: The low-rise design met the City’s heritage standards.

    Restaurant and event facility details: The restaurant is planned to be “bistro-style”; maximum capacity for events is approx. 800; on-site parking space is for 292 cars. The parking will be free and include spots allocated for park visitors who are not patrons of the restaurant/event facility.

    • Availability of meeting space for community use: A series of rooms will be available. Some smaller rooms will be in the restored Guild Inn building; up to 50% of the use in the new event facility will be by community groups. Sinks and stoves will be available. Certain facilities will be rented out at rates charged at comparable City facilities.

    • Community library at Guild Park: Financial and environment constraints prevent building a library in Guild Park. Councillor Ainslie confirmed that the local library branch “at this point, stays where it is” in the Guildwood Plaza.

    • Public washroom: Facilities for park visitors are included in plans for the restaurant and as part of the new arts centre. Access to washrooms will be managed to correspond with usual visitor times and with public events at Guild Park.

    • Tree planting will continue in Guild Park. Work continues to control invasive species (such as dog-strangling vine) in the park, especially in the places designated as “environmentally-sensitive areas.”

    • Walkways and parking access: Near the new restaurant facilities, walkways are designed for access by people with disabilities and maintained to meet the City of Toronto’s accessibility regulations. The existing path connecting Guild Park with the waterfront is being kept open but doesn’t currently meet accessibility standards. 

    • More appropriate names for buildings, areas and features in Guild Park: Many of the names used for park features (such as “Building 191”, “the road behind the theatre”, “the east parking lot”) fail to reflect the legacy of Guild Park and its history. Consideration of this can be part of the upcoming Arts & Culture community meeting on Dec 16.

    • Access to information about the various plans and studies about Guild Park: The 97-page Guild Park Management Plan is available in the reference section of the libraries at Guildwood, Cedarbrae and Morningside. It is also available online at:
    Preliminary architectural proposals for the restaurant facilities are available at the Guildwood library. City officials committed to make available to the public the other reports and material mentioned at the Nov. 17 public meeting that are non-confidential.

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