Guildwood Village is a neighbourhood of 10,000 residents located on the Scarborough Bluffs in southeast Toronto. Thousands of years ago, oak, walnut and pine grew here along the shores of Lake Ontario. For centuries, this was home to many First Nations.
Pioneers arrived in the late 1700s. Some were refugees from the U.S. Others came from Britain and Europe. By 1850, the area was mainly farmland in the new township of Scarborough.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, a remarkable widow, Rosa Breithaupt Hewetson, bought a country estate overlooking the Scarborough Bluffs. She later remarried and, with her new husband, Spencer Clark, created Canada’s first artists’ community - the Guild of All Arts.
The couple welcomed all types of creators to their property. Eager visitors came to see painters, sculptors, weavers and others in action. The site became so popular that the Clarks converted their home into the Guild Inn - a country hotel and restaurant.
For almost 50 years, art and hospitality flourished at “The Guild”.
Meanwhile, the couple spent decades planning an innovative “garden village” destined for the woods near the Guild. They fulfilled their dream when Guildwood Village opened in 1957.
In their later years, the Clarks sold their Guild property, which now operates as Guild Park & Gardens. The public park remains at the heart of Guildwood Village. Guild Park features the Clarks’ original collection of outdoor art and architectural artifacts, plus the Clark Centre for the Arts, where people can again watch artists at work.