Located inside the Guild Park and Gardens, the Clark Centre for the Arts is undergoing a revitalization. The multipurpose facility will house art studios and gallery exhibitions and be home to creative programs for Toronto residents and visitors to explore and enjoy year round. Guild Park and Gardens is a unique 88 acre site on the Scarborough Bluffs that includes forests, shoreline and a collection of architectural fragments, sculptures and buildings.

The Clark Centre for the Arts will open officially in the early months of 2022. At capacity, the center will offer up to 90 diverse and accessible arts and culture programs annually.

The Clark Centre for the Arts site has a long tradition of creativity and fine arts. Initially in the 18th century, the land surrounding the Clark Centre for the Arts site had been divided into tracts that were granted to loyalists who had served in the American Revolutionary War. After changing hands a number of times, General Harold Child Bickford purchased the property in 1914, named it the Ranelagh Park Country Estate and built the well-known Bickford House. Today, the Bickford House is a Designated Heritage Property, and considered an excellent example of early 20th Century Period Revival style with Arts and Crafts detailing.

In 1932, Rosa and Spencer Clark founded the Guild of All Arts after Rosa purchased 450 acres of land. The Guild of All Arts contained shops, a tea room, and studios in fine art and craft, including painting, sculpture, hand-loom weaving, tooled leather, ceramics, metal work, wood carving and batik. After the war the Clarks expanded the hotel and restaurant operation and created formal gardens. The area became known as the Guild Inn or the Guild. During Toronto’s building boom that began in the 1960s, many historic 19th and 20th century downtown buildings were demolished. As an advocate for architectural preservation, Spencer Clark recovered many of these buildings’ facades and architectural features to display on the grounds of the Guild.

In 2015 and 2016, the City of Toronto conducted community consultations, collecting a wealth of information to inform and guide the planning for a reimagined arts and cultural facility at Guild Park and Gardens – The Clark Centre for the Arts (formerly Building 191). See the Arts Programming Community Consultation Report for information gathered at these consultations.

Architectural services were provided by Taylor Hazell Architects and the construction was undertaken by Atlas Construction Ltd. 2017 Public Open House presentation contains further information about the building’s architecture.

Hours of Operation

The Clark Centre for the Arts will open to the public in early 2022.

Location

191 Guildwood Pkwy.

Parking is available.

Public Transit

From Kennedy Station, take the 116 bus to Guildwood Pkwy at Guild Inn East Side.

For specific TTC route and schedule information call 416-393-4636 or visit the TTC website.