History of Guildwood Village
The history of Guildwood Village begins with Rosa (1888-1981) and Spencer
(1903-1986) Clark who founded the Guild of all Arts in 1932. The Guild of
all Arts consisted of 500 acres and was bounded by Scarborough Golf Club
Road to Galloway Road.
During World War II the Guild became H.M.C.S. Bytown II where Wrens were
given wireless training, and later Scarborough Hall, a specialized military
hospital. For four years the restful grounds of the Guild were given over to
the restoration of thousands of war casualties.
After the war when Metropolitan Toronto enveloped the Guild lands, the
Clarks dreamed of establishing a community that would combine quality homes with beautiful surroundings. Guildwood Developments was founded by the Clarks for this purpose.
Dr. E. G. Faludi, one of Canada’s foremost town planners, laid out the
unique system of narrow, winding roads (to discourage speeding) and shaded
walkways, where school children can walk to their classes without
encountering traffic hazards.
Guildwood Village was built around existing, major trees. Aerial photographs
were taken during the winter to show the location of the trees. Some were
moved for the construction of water mains and pipes, while others were
tunneled under. Wiring was placed underground instead of being suspended
from lighting and telephone poles which would spoil the look of the
Spencer Clark wanted the entrance to create the feeling of entering a
superior residential community. In 1957 gates from the demolished Stanley
Barracks were erected at the top of Guildwood Parkway. These gates were
forged in England in 1839 for Toronto’s Stanley Barracks. The barracks were
demolished in 1953 and the gates rebuilt on their present site as a grand
entrance to Guildwood Village.
Guildwood Parkway, which was once Eglinton Avenue East, was to be a wider street than required. Similar thoroughfares were usually 60′ wide but this road would be 96′ wide so a grass median could be installed. As this road
descends sharply down the hill from Kingston Road, it was necessary to turn
its direction and lengthen it to make the grade easier from the highway to
the lower level.
Guildwood Village was officially opened on August 28, 1957. Twelve model
homes, priced from $25,000 to $30,000, were on display on the “Avenue of
Homes” located along Toynbee Trail near Chancery. This was the largest
display of its kind ever presented in Canada. The first weekend attracted
more than 30,000 visitors who parked in the fields stretching from
Livingston Road along both sides of Toynbee to the Avenue of Homes.
Street names related to history, the arts and family connections of Rosa and
Spencer Clark. Mr. And Mrs. Clark had close connections with Toynbee Hall,
where MacKenzie King lived while studying in London, England. Cadbury Court is named after the Cadbury family who lived in Bourneville, England.
A skating rink on Livingston Road was once used by the staff from the Inn.
This space is now occupied by the St. Ursula Catholic School. This area from
Toynbee Trail to Guildwood Parkway was once a large apple orchard.
A coat of arms was created for Guildwood Village, its motto in latin:
DULCE MISCEATUR UTILI
“Let us mingle the beautiful with the useful.”
Prepared by the Guildwood Village Community Association with excerpts from
The History of The Guild Inn by Carole M. Lidgold.