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Home » Recent posts » Toronto’s Artistic Haven: A Guide to Guild Park and Gardens

Toronto’s Artistic Haven: A Guide to Guild Park and Gardens

A Guide to Guild Park and Gardens

Toronto’s Artistic Haven: A Guide to Guild Park and Gardens

Formerly home to the Guild of All Arts, a community of artists founded in 1932, Guild Park and Gardens is now a historic site and public recreational space. You can find sculptures, art spaces, and historic landmarks spread around the park.

If you’re planning to visit soon, we’ve got all the info on the cool attractions and fun things to do here!

Toronto’s Artistic Haven: A Guide to Guild Park and Gardens

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Guild Park and Gardens is in October. Not only does this month see lesser tourists than usual, but it’s also the time beautiful fall colours start to show in the park. 

October has moderately chilly and breezy weather, so you can comfortably explore the park as long as you wear weather-appropriate clothing. 

How to Get to Guild Park and Gardens

How to Get to Guild Park and Gardens

The quickest way to get to Guild Park and Gardens is by taking the Bloor-Danforth subway to Kennedy Station. 

You can also get on the 116A bus and get down once you reach Guildwood Parkway at Chancery Lane. 

Things to Do

1. Check out the Greek Theatre 

Address: 201 Guildwood Pkwy, Scarborough, ON M1E, Canada

The Greek Theatre is one of the many attractions in the park that were salvaged from a demolition site. In particular, the theatre used to be the facade of the Bank of Toronto in 1912. 

The structure boasts eight huge marble pillars, which were constructed from portions of the old bank. It has three archways, which are decorated with intricately carved details like faces and swirling patterns. 

2. Take in the view from the Lake Ontario Lookouts

Address: 201 Guildwood Pkwy, Scarborough, ON M1E, Canada

If you’re looking for a place to see picturesque views of Lake Ontario, then you’ll be happy to know that Guild Park has several lookouts offering just that. 

Guild Park is located in Scarborough Bluffs, so expect several cliff-side vistas. There are trails leading to different lookouts that overlook the waters and rock formations below. 

These are great places to capture the natural beauty of Toronto, and from them, you can also see orange rays reflecting on the water during sunset. Sometimes you can catch boats sailing around as well. 

3. Watch a show by the Guild Festival Theatre

Address: 201 Guildwood Pkwy, Scarborough, ON M1E, Canada

Contact: 1 647-250-7438

Website: Guild Festival Theatre

For anyone looking for entertainment, you can watch expressive and compelling productions at the Guild Festival Theatre in Guild Park.

The theatre company hosts a variety of shows, such as comedies, musicals, and melodramatic love stories. 

One of their notable shows is The Red Priest (Eight Ways to Say Goodbye), which is a bittersweet story exploring the themes of love and freedom. 

Another is Three Men in a Boat, which follows the comedic misadventures of three friends along the River Thames. 

4. Appreciate the park’s sculptures 

Address: 201 Guildwood Pkwy, Scarborough, ON M1E, Canada, Canada

During the 1950s, Rosa and Spencer Clark started saving sculptures, monuments, and salvaged architectural materials from demolished buildings. You’ll find most of these sculptures displayed around the park today. 

Many of the sculptures and monuments feature nineteenth and early twentieth-century architecture. One eye-catching sculpture is the Musidora, which depicts a naked woman leaning on a pedestal in an upright position, blankly staring upward. 

You can find remnants of old buildings like the School Bell & Belfry from Victoria Park School. The entrance of the Bank of Nova Scotia is also here as well as several sandstone carvings from the old building.

5. Observe the Guild Inn’s architecture

Address: 201 Guildwood Pkwy, Scarborough, ON M1E 1P5, Canada

Hours:

  • Monday to Sunday: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Contact: 1 416-260-8000

One of the historic sites in Guild Park worth visiting for its lovely architecture is the Guild Inn. It was constructed in 1914 and was originally the home of Brigadier General Harold Child Bickford and his family. 

The inn’s architecture is best described as having an Arts and Crafts-style design. Although the building has undergone renovations, you can still find many of the original wood panelling integrated with new woodwork. 

Along with that, the building’s porte cochère has also been rebuilt to match its original aesthetic using wood and stone. 

6. Visit the Osterhout log cabin

Address: Guildwood, Scarborough, Toronto, ON, Canada

Another historical site in the park worth visiting is the Osterhout log cabin. The period when the cabin was built remains a mystery, but experts debate that it was probably built during the late 18th century or the mid-19th century.   

It features long rounded logs with ends shaped like squares, allowing them to easily join together. It also features a brick chimney, a single window, and a roof that is covered in cedar shingles. 

The log house is great for photos because it looks like something out of an old snow-bound cowboy movie. This is especially true in the winter when the log house is covered in snowfall, which makes for a picturesque sight. 

Address: 191 Guildwood Pkwy, Scarborough, ON M1E 1P5, Canada

Hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday, Friday to Sunday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Contact: 416-396-7378

Art lovers can check out the latest contemporary works and exhibits by local artists at the Clark Centre for the Arts. Launched in 2022, the building features a square-shaped design and has huge glass windows, allowing natural light to pass through. 

The gallery has exhibits that last for a year and seasonal exhibits that last for several months. As for art, the gallery features diverse mediums of expression, like sculptures, paintings, drawings, wood carvings, and prints. 

We recommend visiting the Wild Bees exhibit by Charmaine Lurch, which features large sculptures of bees made from wire and colourful yarn. Also, check out The Eclectic Eye exhibit which showcases a collection of photographs depicting life in Toronto.  

8. Take photos with the Terracotta Gates 

Address: 201 Guildwood Pkwy, Scarborough, ON M1E, Canada

Guild Park’s numerous sculptures aren’t just sights to admire, but they actually provide great photo opportunities. In particular, we love taking photos of the Terracotta Gates.

This gateway features decorative wrought iron gates and terracotta stonework. It’s also a great place to take Instagrammable photos. 

For some truly scenic photos, visit the gates 20 – 30 minutes after sunset to snap shots of the contrasting orange colours of the gate with the sky’s subtle blue hue. 

9. Go on a walking tour around the gardens 

Address: 201 Guildwood Pkwy, Scarborough, ON M1E, Canada

Contact: [email protected]

Website: Friends of Guild Park

If you’re afraid you’ll miss out on something, you can always join a free walking tour hosted by Friends of the Guild Park.

The tours take place every last Sunday of the month at 2:00 PM. You’ll be able to learn some interesting information about the park’s prominent sculptures and history. 

You can find out more information on their Twitter page, where they post updated schedules of walking tours. 

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