It is not every day that one has the chance to attend the grand opening of a historic landmark in Toronto. The Guild Inn Estate reopened its doors on June 14, and it was one spectacular evening. Mayor John Tory officiated the ribbon cutting along with Councillor Gary Crawford, City of Toronto Ward 46, Scarborough East, Councillor Paul Ainslie, City of Toronto Ward 43, Scarborough East, and Dynamic Hospitality Group‘s Sam D’uva and Piero Suppa. We learned so much about the two years of transforming the Guild Inn Estate from its previous condition into the magnificent showpiece that is today. All of this because of the vision and determination of Dynamic Hospitality and Entertainment Group and the City of Toronto. The fruits of their efforts have paid off.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, we got a chance to tour the grounds and fully experience the history of the property. The original main house, known as The Bickford Residence, was built in 1914 as a summer place for Colonel Harold Bickford. By 1921, he was forced to sell it. In 1932, Rosa and Herbert Clark purchased it and transformed the property into the Guild of All Arts, creating a cooperative for artists and artisans. Over the years the Clarks purchased 500 acres in the area, and several additions were made. The Clarks saved architectural pieces from being demolished by having installed them on the site, where they remain today.

Eventually, the Clarks sold off 400 acres and the surrounding area called Guildwood Village was developed. In 1965, The Guild Inn was built to accommodate the popularity of the property.

In 1978, the Clarks convinced the City of Toronto to take over the property to be a public park. The Guild Inn remained operating until 2001when it closed for good.

The Guild Inn Estate has both indoor and outdoor areas to hold weddings, corporate functions and all kinds of celebrations. The Estate is made up of the Gazebo, the Bickford Bistro, and the Event Space. The Event Space has an enormous main ballroom with floor to ceiling windows that bring so much natural light to space. The wrap around terrace leading from the ballroom overlooks the wooded grounds. The pathway through the stunning gardens eventually ends at Lake Ontario. These sight lines are truly one of a kind.

ET Canada‘s Cheryl Hickey hosted the evening celebration. The Sole Power band got everyone moving and grooving. There were talented dancers, an acrobat, a violinist/harpist and a model transformed into a champagne barThere was a glass blower and an artist painting the grounds (memories of The Guild Inn Estate’s artisan past), a handwriting analyzer and a photo booth, DT Decor gave out fresh roses to everyone. There were delicious hors d’oeuvres being passed around including mini spanakopitas, chicken skewers. shrimp and raw tuna on edible spoons. Several food stations to accommodated all kinds of palates. Edo’s Sushi bar, samosas, salmon in puff pastry, potato bar (with french fries, potato chips, and baked potatoes) and a bbq on the terrace, The dessert bar was outstanding with tiramisu, cheesecake, cake pops, and chocolate pizzas among the sweets. Patricia’s Cake Creations had a lovely pastry table with cupcakes, macarons and other treats.

In the Gazebo area was a Beavertails station which we couldn’t resist trying. The area has a vast outdoor lounge area and has a “campfire” theme. It was so cozy and comfortable.

There were several bars as well serving wines and drinks. We tried the melon liquor cocktail, and it was great.

Alas, our evening had to end. It was such a pleasure to experience The Guild Inn Estate and it truly is the perfect place for any event.

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