Rebirth of Guild Inn begins in Scarborough

News Nov 26, 2015 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

The third time was the charm, and Rosa and Spencer Clark would surely smile about it.

The Guild Inn, the art-loving couple’s historic former house in East Scarborough, is finally getting its rebirth, after two false starts and a wait lasting almost 15 years.

Toronto’s Dynamic Hospitality and Entertainment Group is about to retore the building’s original 1914 form, the Bickford Residence, and expand it into a $20-million event centre.

“I find it almost a miracle it has lasted so long,” said Janet Heise, one of many volunteers devoted to the Guild and its 88 acres of waterfront lands.

On Thursday, Nov. 26, Heise, who sometimes plays the role of Rosa Clark at local events, watched as Dynamic executives, Mayor John Tory and Paul Ainslie, the local councillor, broke ground for the project.

“To be honest, we never celebrated the building, we celebrated what the Clarks did,” the Guild of All Arts which filled the park grounds with sculpture and pieces of vanished Toronto buildings.

Tory said the Bickford, after passing many hurdles, would be restored “to its previous grandeur, and better.”

He said volunteers kept the dream of the Guild’s restoration - and the cultural mission of the Clarks - alive, and that the city would soon invest in arts programming for Guild Park.

Before the city signed a sub-lease with Dynamic last year there were two other attempts to have a third-party company restore and operate the Guild Inn, a city-owned hotel and restaurant shuttered in 2001.

Since then, the building and others on the grounds suffered damage, and many feared the Bickford, in spite of its heritage designation, wouldn’t survive.

Tory said there was talk about the city stepping in to run the Inn itself, but that’s not a business a government should be in.

Dynamic, he added later, has the experience to draw enough business. “I think this is going to be a good investment by smart people.”

Dynamic’s plan for what it calls the Guild Inn Estate relies on turning the Bickford and the surrounding public park into one of Toronto’s premiere events centres.

It will be a destination with few rivals in the eastern side of Toronto, said Sam D’Uva, a managing director who said construction may finish by this time next year. “People like to go to landmark sites to see something they don’t see every day.”

Dynamic, which also owns the Atlantis Pavilions at Ontario Place and The Eglinton Grand, will also include community space, and what D’Uva called “a quaint little restaurant.”

With the bureaucratic hurdles cleared, the company will approach neighbourhood residents “to see what they’d like to see” at the Guild, he added.

“We’re hoping to be a vital part of the community.”

There was talk at Thursday’s ceremony about the Guild becoming the brunch spot it was decades ago, though D’Uva said the restaurant will likely be scaled back during winters, to “probably a Thursday to Sunday-type thing.”

Ainslie said it’s taken many years of work to revive the Clarks’ vision, and thanked the community for its patience and confidence, particularly the Guild Rennaisance Group, Guildwood Village Association and Friends of Guild Park and Gardens.

The Guild, he promised, “will be the most beautiful park in Toronto.”

John Mason, president of the Friends group, said the project “really sets a standard for the whole restoration of the rest of the park.”

Residents have a wonderful opportunity to keep the momentum going, Mason added.

Rebirth of Guild Inn begins in Scarborough

Dynamic Hospitality and Entertainment break ground on restoration, expansion

News Nov 26, 2015 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

The third time was the charm, and Rosa and Spencer Clark would surely smile about it.

The Guild Inn, the art-loving couple’s historic former house in East Scarborough, is finally getting its rebirth, after two false starts and a wait lasting almost 15 years.

Toronto’s Dynamic Hospitality and Entertainment Group is about to retore the building’s original 1914 form, the Bickford Residence, and expand it into a $20-million event centre.

“I find it almost a miracle it has lasted so long,” said Janet Heise, one of many volunteers devoted to the Guild and its 88 acres of waterfront lands.

On Thursday, Nov. 26, Heise, who sometimes plays the role of Rosa Clark at local events, watched as Dynamic executives, Mayor John Tory and Paul Ainslie, the local councillor, broke ground for the project.

“To be honest, we never celebrated the building, we celebrated what the Clarks did,” the Guild of All Arts which filled the park grounds with sculpture and pieces of vanished Toronto buildings.

Tory said the Bickford, after passing many hurdles, would be restored “to its previous grandeur, and better.”

He said volunteers kept the dream of the Guild’s restoration - and the cultural mission of the Clarks - alive, and that the city would soon invest in arts programming for Guild Park.

Before the city signed a sub-lease with Dynamic last year there were two other attempts to have a third-party company restore and operate the Guild Inn, a city-owned hotel and restaurant shuttered in 2001.

Since then, the building and others on the grounds suffered damage, and many feared the Bickford, in spite of its heritage designation, wouldn’t survive.

Tory said there was talk about the city stepping in to run the Inn itself, but that’s not a business a government should be in.

Dynamic, he added later, has the experience to draw enough business. “I think this is going to be a good investment by smart people.”

Dynamic’s plan for what it calls the Guild Inn Estate relies on turning the Bickford and the surrounding public park into one of Toronto’s premiere events centres.

It will be a destination with few rivals in the eastern side of Toronto, said Sam D’Uva, a managing director who said construction may finish by this time next year. “People like to go to landmark sites to see something they don’t see every day.”

Dynamic, which also owns the Atlantis Pavilions at Ontario Place and The Eglinton Grand, will also include community space, and what D’Uva called “a quaint little restaurant.”

With the bureaucratic hurdles cleared, the company will approach neighbourhood residents “to see what they’d like to see” at the Guild, he added.

“We’re hoping to be a vital part of the community.”

There was talk at Thursday’s ceremony about the Guild becoming the brunch spot it was decades ago, though D’Uva said the restaurant will likely be scaled back during winters, to “probably a Thursday to Sunday-type thing.”

Ainslie said it’s taken many years of work to revive the Clarks’ vision, and thanked the community for its patience and confidence, particularly the Guild Rennaisance Group, Guildwood Village Association and Friends of Guild Park and Gardens.

The Guild, he promised, “will be the most beautiful park in Toronto.”

John Mason, president of the Friends group, said the project “really sets a standard for the whole restoration of the rest of the park.”

Residents have a wonderful opportunity to keep the momentum going, Mason added.

Rebirth of Guild Inn begins in Scarborough

Dynamic Hospitality and Entertainment break ground on restoration, expansion

News Nov 26, 2015 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

The third time was the charm, and Rosa and Spencer Clark would surely smile about it.

The Guild Inn, the art-loving couple’s historic former house in East Scarborough, is finally getting its rebirth, after two false starts and a wait lasting almost 15 years.

Toronto’s Dynamic Hospitality and Entertainment Group is about to retore the building’s original 1914 form, the Bickford Residence, and expand it into a $20-million event centre.

“I find it almost a miracle it has lasted so long,” said Janet Heise, one of many volunteers devoted to the Guild and its 88 acres of waterfront lands.

On Thursday, Nov. 26, Heise, who sometimes plays the role of Rosa Clark at local events, watched as Dynamic executives, Mayor John Tory and Paul Ainslie, the local councillor, broke ground for the project.

“To be honest, we never celebrated the building, we celebrated what the Clarks did,” the Guild of All Arts which filled the park grounds with sculpture and pieces of vanished Toronto buildings.

Tory said the Bickford, after passing many hurdles, would be restored “to its previous grandeur, and better.”

He said volunteers kept the dream of the Guild’s restoration - and the cultural mission of the Clarks - alive, and that the city would soon invest in arts programming for Guild Park.

Before the city signed a sub-lease with Dynamic last year there were two other attempts to have a third-party company restore and operate the Guild Inn, a city-owned hotel and restaurant shuttered in 2001.

Since then, the building and others on the grounds suffered damage, and many feared the Bickford, in spite of its heritage designation, wouldn’t survive.

Tory said there was talk about the city stepping in to run the Inn itself, but that’s not a business a government should be in.

Dynamic, he added later, has the experience to draw enough business. “I think this is going to be a good investment by smart people.”

Dynamic’s plan for what it calls the Guild Inn Estate relies on turning the Bickford and the surrounding public park into one of Toronto’s premiere events centres.

It will be a destination with few rivals in the eastern side of Toronto, said Sam D’Uva, a managing director who said construction may finish by this time next year. “People like to go to landmark sites to see something they don’t see every day.”

Dynamic, which also owns the Atlantis Pavilions at Ontario Place and The Eglinton Grand, will also include community space, and what D’Uva called “a quaint little restaurant.”

With the bureaucratic hurdles cleared, the company will approach neighbourhood residents “to see what they’d like to see” at the Guild, he added.

“We’re hoping to be a vital part of the community.”

There was talk at Thursday’s ceremony about the Guild becoming the brunch spot it was decades ago, though D’Uva said the restaurant will likely be scaled back during winters, to “probably a Thursday to Sunday-type thing.”

Ainslie said it’s taken many years of work to revive the Clarks’ vision, and thanked the community for its patience and confidence, particularly the Guild Rennaisance Group, Guildwood Village Association and Friends of Guild Park and Gardens.

The Guild, he promised, “will be the most beautiful park in Toronto.”

John Mason, president of the Friends group, said the project “really sets a standard for the whole restoration of the rest of the park.”

Residents have a wonderful opportunity to keep the momentum going, Mason added.