Clarks Create Idyllic Community

August 28, 1957

Guildwood Village

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In 1957, Rosa and Spencer Clark realized their dream of creating an ideal, modern residential community. They had founded the Guild of All Arts and the Guild Inn in Scarborough on 500 acres of their rural land. Spencer oversaw the development of Guildwood Village, an idyllic garden community for 7,000 residents, with schools, churches, community centres and shops.

The gates at Stanley Barracks, shown here in 1927, were relocated to Guildwood Village in 1953 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/PA-087680).

The Clarks hired Dr. E. G. Faludi, a renowned Canadian urban planner, to create the master plan, which introduced new ideas in subdivision design. Winding roads discouraged speeding, buried utilities replaced overhead lines to maintain esthetics, and mature trees were preserved wherever possible. At the grand entrance to the Guildwood Parkway they placed iron gates salvaged from the Stanley Barracks. The gates were forged in England in 1839, and still welcome residents and visitors today.

At the opening, the Avenue of Homes featured 12 model homes that were open to the public in what was called “the largest display of its kind anywhere in Canada.”Some 25,000 visitors attended on the first weekend, leaving their cars parked in the fields that would soon be filled with homes.

By Dennis Smith

Visit The Canadian Encyclopedia for more on Scarborough.

Rosa & Spencer Clark Parkette, named for Guildwood Village’s founders (photo courtesy Alan L. Brown). View the image gallery