The Guildwood Village Flag

The Guildwood Village Flag

The Guildwood Village Flag was adopted by the Guildwood Village Community Association (GVCA) on June 12, 2018.


Order The Guildwood Village Flag

The Guildwood Village Flag is available in 3 different sizes, Car Flag, Home Flag and Large Flag. All payments are processed securely by PayPal.

Car Flag 12″ x 18″ Click to Order $20 + PayPal fees. Car Flag with plastic car window bracket

Home Flag 27″ x 54″ Click to Order  $55 + PayPal fees. This size is recommended for mounting outside homes (doorway, porches, patios. etc.)

Large Flag 36″ x 72″ Click to Order  $85 + PayPal fees. This size is recommended for flying from a flagpole


The Story in the Flag

The Guildwood Village Flag has deep meaning. It tells the story about our neighbourhood using symbols of local features that resonate with residents. Together, the icons define what makes Guildwood Village so distinctive. Reading from left to right, top to bottom, the flag sends a clear and distinctive message: “Guild”  “Wood” “Village” “on the Bluffs”.

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Interpreting the Four Symbols

Top Left: The four columns represent the art, architecture and creativity associated with the Guild Park, site of historic Guild of All Arts. The image is a stylized version of the Bankers Bond columns, preserved and proudly displayed by the park entrance  The colour red represents the energy, creativity and passion for which Guildwood Village is known. The red is also the same colour (Pantone 032) used in Canada’s national flag. This links our community to our country.

Top Right: The three trees represent our community’s wooded areas, green spaces and parks. The evergreen silhouettes refer to the tree that appears in the official crest of Guildwood Village. The colour green represents nature, renewal and growth. The green used (Pantone 348), is from the official colour pallette of the Government of Canada.

Bottom Left: The bungalow represents the unique style of homes built throughout the village, known as “mid-century modern.” The icon is based on plans from one of Guildwood’s original model homes built along the village’s first  residential streets, Avenue of Homes, (now called Toynbee Trail). The brown colour (Pantone 7603) is based on a colour used in the original Guildwood Village crest. This colour represents reliability, elegance, stability and home.

Bottom Right: The simplified bluffs and shoreline images are inspired by Scarborough’s official flag, designed by renowned artist, Doris McCarthy. The blue represents the sky and the lake, and is associated with freedom, imagination, expansiveness and inspiration. The blue colour (Pantone 287) is the same as in the City of Toronto’s flag, creating another link — between our community and our city.

Additional Points   

  • The flag’s quadrant layout is a reminder that Guildwood Village evolved from the original 1957 development and expanded in sections.
  • Another notable flag that uses four quadrants is the Royal Standard, the banner long used by Canada’s monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The four quadrants and their colours also refer to the four seasons:
    • The red maple leaves of autumn;
    • the white winter snow around our homes;
    • the fresh green of spring’s renewal; and
    • the blue skies and open water of summer.
  • The Guildwood Village flag is designed so its length is twice its width. This size ratio of 2:1 is the same as the Canadian flag.

The Story Behind the Flag

To mark the GVCA’s 60th Anniversary in 2018, the GVCA Executive Committee launched its Guildwood Flag project in mid-2017. The aim was to create a distinctive flag that would:

  • Help develop “pride of place” among Guildwood residents
  • Highlight the unique qualities/identify of Guildwood Village
  • Raise the profile of Guildwood Village

A flag for Guildwood Village would be a way to generate positive awareness of the community and be used by the GVCA, local residents and other Guildwood supporters.

The “Flag Team”

The GVCA appointed a group of its volunteer members as a sub-committee to work on this project. The initial members included people with diverse backgrounds and skills, plus a common passion for the Guildwood community. They included:

Audrea Douglas, a long-time Guildwood resident and executive member of the GVCA since 2006. She was one of the driving forces between the popular Guildwood Cooks cookbooks, featuring photos, images and research about the history of Guildwood Village

Jack Henry, a graphic design grad from OCAD University, who specializes in branding, corporate communications and information design and Wayfinding.

Leslie Hetherington, an award-winning public relations consultant, with a background in branding, design illustration and graphic design. A long-time Guildwood resident and five-year exec member of the GVCA, she holds an MBA and various diplomas in public relations and communications

John Mason, an award-winning journalist and corporate communications specialist with an MBA. He’s a Guildwood resident, an executive member of the GVCA; a rep for the Guild Renaissance Group and founding president of Friends of Guild Park.  He’s welcomed thousands of people to Guild Park for tours and events.

Jane Whitney, a professional illustrator who studied design & illustration at Ontario College of Art and studied Art as Applied to Medicine at University of Toronto. She’s a long-time resident of Guildwood Village.

In early 2018, the GVCA Flag Team was bolstered with the addition of two more local residents, a husband-and-wife duo who volunteered after reading about the flag project in the GVCA’s newsletter.

Marsha Leverock Westergaard, a visual designer in the software industry and an illustration contributor to the Royal Ontario Museum. She holds a degree in anthropology and fine art from U of T, and studied graphic design at George Brown College.

Ulrik Westergaard, a sales and marketing professional and an active Guildwood Village booster, involved in a variety of community activities, from the Guildwoodian blog to village improvements

This diverse group took a common approach by agreeing to follow best practices design, specifically the principles that make a community flag distinctive. Applying such guidelines to the Guildwood Village flag meant creating a design that:

  • Was simple
  • Told the community’s story with meaningful symbols
  • Included distinctive graphics, without words, and
  • Used a few basic colours

Other Village Symbols

Guildwood Village also has two notable symbols from its past that continue to crest green background.pngbe used today.

The original village crest was created in the 1950s for the community’s founder, Spencer Clark. That circular design featured a seagull, shining sun, a squirrel and evergreen tree. It also included the words, “Guildwood Village” and the Latin motto:  “Dulce Misceatur Utili” (roughly translated as “Mingling the beautiful and the useful”)

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Another symbol long associated with Guildwood are the village gates, located at Guildwood Parkway and Kingston Road. This structure was created for Spencer Clark also in the 1950s as a landmark for both the village and the popular Guild Inn, then owned and operated by the Clarks.

After considering these classic emblems, the GVCA Flag Team found the images didn’t adhere to effective flag design principles, nor did they fully reflect the Guildwood of today.

With the village crest, its wording and elaborate features are best suited for print documents viewed up close, rather than on a flapping flag seen in the distance. With the Guildwood Gates, the details in the fencing, plus today’s perceptions about “gated” communities, made this design less than ideal for a flag.

The design to adopt new images opened up new possibilities for representing Guildwood Village in other ways, to reflect its legacy as an arts hub, the local green space, the proximity of Scarborough bluffs, and the sense of being a community within a vibrant city

Flag Ideas & Mock-Ups

After presenting some preliminary flag designs to the GVCA Executive Committee, the Flag Team began asking local residents for further suggestions and comments. Articles in the GVCA’s News & Views newsletter and the local media, meetings with various community organizations and holding sessions with the public and at the GVCA annual general meeting all generated  lots of ideas, comments and reaction.

In the course of almost a year, the Flag team created more than 140 thumbnail designs and mock-ups on the way to developing a final flag (a selection of these mock-ups is below). Work then began to select and fine-tune the best ideas and create a flag of flair and distinction.

Flag team volunteers applied their expertise in design, marketing and communications, their knowledge of local history, plus their passion for Guildwood to create a short-list of flag prototypes.

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A selection of the dozens of early ideas and mock-ups for the Guildwood Village Flag

The Final Flag

Inspired by the flag ideas published earlier in the Guildwood News and Views, Marsha Westergaard created several designs that she presented to the GVCA Flag Team. She decided that the flag should be simple and meaningful and came up with the idea of four stylized icons positioned in quadrants.

Marsha’s design began as some quick sketches on the pad of her smartphone and evolved into the designs that she presented to the flag team in early 2018. After several colour studies, reviewing different ways to arrange the icons, plus some fine tuning from the public and the Flag Team, the four-symbol design was finalized.

Before recommending the new flag design to the GVCA, the Flag Team took the prototype for a “test drive”during Guildwood Day 2018. Local residents got their first glimpse of the flag as it flew in the day’s popular parade.

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The reaction was extremely positive reception – from kids in the parade, from long-time Guildwood Village residents, and from the elected representatives attending Guildwood Day, including Mayor John Tory, local City Councillors Paul Ainslie and Gary Crawford, plus federal MP John McKay.

Later in June, the Flag Team made its final recommendations to the GVCA Executive Committee. The GVCA heard how the Guildwood Village flag was designed to reflect the pride that residents have for their neighbourhood and shows the world what makes Guildwood Village such a special place. The GVCA unanimously approved the flag design.

During the summer 2018, work continues to bring the flag and its story into the public eye. The flag will soon be available for sale to Guildwood residents and the public.

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The GVCA Flag Team, from left, John Mason, Marsha Leverock Westergaard, Ulrik Westergaard, Audrea Douglas, Jane Whitney, Jack Henry and Leslie Heatherington.

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