Here’s a day trip you can do without even leaving the city: Spend an afternoon exploring the gorgeous grounds of Guild Park and Gardens. This Scarborough destination is chock full of beautiful scenery, outdoor art, and all-around good vibes.
First off, it’s no wonder this spot is called a ‘sculpture sanctuary’, with these gorgeous gardens filled with massive works of art you’re free to discover. In fact, the spot is so pretty that it’s frequently booked for things like photography, weddings, and more. At the very least, it makes for a great Insta-pic location.
Of course, all these works of art have a pretty rich history behind them. The Guild Park and Gardens were once part of the Guild Inn – a residence built in 1914 for war hero at the time Colonel Harold C. Bickford. At the time it was an arts and crafts style mansion surrounded by 400 acres of garden and woodland property.
In 1932, the property was purchased by Rosa Breithaupt Hewetson who, along with her husband, modelled it after a famous New York centre for the arts. It became the site of many artists and artisans, including a few students and members of the famous Group of Seven.
During the Second World War, the property became a training base for the Women’s Royal Naval Service, as well as a military hospital for victims of shell-shock. In 1978, the property was sold to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to be used as a public park. The actual inn closed in 2002 and the outdoor grounds remain open to this day.
The site is a part of the famous Scarborough Bluffs, so the entire destination makes for a great outdoor afternoon. Maybe pack a picnic? Do a little hiking? Or just hang out and enjoy the beautiful sites this spot and its surrounding area have to offer.
Where: 201 Guildwood Pkwy, Scarborough