Moving to Guildwood: A Comprehensive Guide for One of the Most Sought-After Neigbourhoods in Scarborough
Guildwood, sometimes referred to as Guildwood Village, is a picturesque residential neighbourhood located on the south side of Scarborough just off the Scarborough Bluffs. The neighbourhood is known for its wonderful selection of houses and scenic streetscapes. One of the main selling points for the Guildwood area is being so close to the waterfront of Lake Ontario. The beautiful views of the water from the Scarborough Bluffs give this neighbourhood a unique character that is unlike another in Toronto.
Where is Guildwood?
Guildwood sits between Markham Road and Morningside Avenue with the GO train tracks to the north and Lake Ontario as the neighbourhood’s southern boundary. Kingston Road runs right by the west end of the neighbourhood, which can connect motorists to Downtown Toronto in under half an hour. Guildwood also has excellent access to public transportation, the neighbourhood has its own Go Train station which is part of the Lakeshore service line that links up with Union Station in Downtown Toronto.
A brief history of Guildwood
The history of Guildwood Village revolves around the Guild Inn, which was founded in 1932 by Rosa and Spencer Clark as a retreat for artists and craftsmen. From 1941 to 1947 the Guild Inn was leased by the Government of Canada as a base for the Women’s Royal Navy Service and later a military hospital. After Metropolitan Toronto was formed in 1954, taxes on the Guild Inn property became too high and Rosa and Spencer Clark decided to sell 450 acres of their property, which became the basis of the Guildwood Village subdivision. The Clarks were closely involved with the development of the subdivision, they had input in the design and layout of the house to preserve as many trees in the area as possible. Development of the new community started in 1957 and included some new ideas in subdivision design including, winding roads, cul de sacs to reduce traffic, and underground power and phone lines. The Clarks also helped design the entrance gate to the subdivision, which was salvaged from Toronto’s Stanley Barracks and re-erected at the corner of Kingston Road and Guildwood Parkway.
The types of homes in Guildwood
Guildwood Village features an excellent mix of houses, including bungalows, split-level, and detached two-storey homes built primarily in the 1950’s and 60’s. In recent years, many of the older homes were redeveloped and replaced with newer custom designed homes. Many Guildwood houses feature front porches that look out onto the tree-lined streets and lush gardens that are trademarks of this neighbourhood. Most of the houses situated on the south side of Guildwood Parkway have breathtaking views of Lake Ontario making them some of the most sought-after properties in Toronto.
When Guildwood Village was initially developed, a bylaw was put in place stipulating that tall tress were not permitted to be removed from properties. While the housing stock in Guildwood dates back 45-60 years, many of the trees in the neighbourhood are much older. These tall trees form a beautiful, lush canopy throughout most of the neighbourhood giving the area a majestic and unique look and feel.
The stretch of Guildwood Parkway west of Livingston Road contains a mix of townhouses, multi-plex dwellings, and low-rise apartment buildings. There is also a luxury condominium apartment building just south of Kingston Road, at the entrance gates of Guildwood. This adds some diversity to the housing options in Guildwoood making it a favourable destination for homeowners and renters alike.
Making the move to Guildwood
Guildwood has become an increasingly popular neighbourhood over the last decade because of its proximity to the water, wonderful parkland, and beautiful houses. More and more families are looking to move out of the city center for an area that is more relaxed and peaceful. If you are an older resident of Guildwood entering retirement and looking to downsize, now would be the ideal time to sell your home to capitalize on the extremely competitive housing market. However, even in a sought-after neighborhood like Guildwood, it is important to stage your home for sale so that potential buyers can more easily envision themselves living there. Whether you are staging your home for sale, moving into a new house, or just looking to declutter your current home, self-storage is a great solution.
Right now, Storwell Self Storage is providing my clients with an exclusive offer of 4 weeks of free self-storage at any of their facilities. Storwell has locations in Mississauga, Etobicoke, and one location in Scarborough near Markham Road and the 401, which is just a short drive north of Guildwood. If you need self-storage to help with your next move, call a Storwell representative or visit a facility in person to demo a unit.
Storwell Self Storage
Parks and Recreation in Guildwood
Guildwood is the perfect neighbourhood for nature lovers as it not only has a large amount of parkland, but it is also conveniently located just minutes away from the waterfront of Lake Ontario. Guildwood residents can follow a scenic walking path that follows the coastline of Lake Ontario along the entire length of the neighbourhood.
The most notable park in Guildwood is obviously the Guild Park and Garden on the south side of the neighbourhood along the Scarborough Bluffs. The park was formerly the site of an artist colony and is known for its collection of relics saved from the demolition of buildings primarily in Downtown Toronto like the Granite Club and the Toronto Star Building, which have been arranged to resemble ancient ruins. The ICONIC Greek Stage at Guild Park is an open-air theatre built from the remnants of the Bank of Toronto building, which hosts the Guild Festival Theatre's annual productions of classic stage plays.
Another popular park in Guildwood is Elizabeth Simcoe Park located on the west side of the neighbourhood on Sylvan Avenue. The park has a large field, a children’s playground, and four well-maintained tennis courts that belong to the Guildwood Tennis Club.
Nearby Elizabeth Simcoe Park on Kingston Road and Markham Road is the Scarborough Village Recreation Centre. This community centre has several amenities including an indoor ice rink, an indoor dry pad, and several multipurpose rooms that host recreational programs for children and adults. The recreation centre is also connected to the Scarborough Village Theatre, which is a performing arts theatre that frequently puts on live performances of local community groups.
The Scarboro Golf and Country Club is a paradise for any golf lover. Highland Creek flows through several holes and is carefully incorporated into this championship-quality 18-hole golf course. The course is located just a few minutes north of the Guildwood neighbourhood.
The best schools in Guildwood
Guildwood is a popular neighbourhood for families because of the wonderful selection of schools in the area. The Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board both operate several schools in the area. The main secondary school in the area is Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute located on the corner of Guildwood Parkway and Livingston Road.
Guildwood also has a great selection of elementary schools, some of the highest rated elementary schools in Guildwood include:
- Poplar Road Junior Public School
- Elizabeth Simcoe Junior Public School
- George P. Mackie Junior Public School
- Guildwood Junior Public School
- St. Ursula Catholic School
The best restaurants in Guildwood
Guildwood has a very culturally diverse community, which is reflected in the neighbourhood’s eclectic mix of wonderful dining options. Most of the restaurants in the Guildwood are located north of Kingston Road away from the main residential space in the neighbourhood. Prague Restaurant is a bohemian Czech and Slovak restaurant serving traditional meals in a casual country club setting overlooking the Scarboro Golf and Country Club. Located near Kingston Road and Markham Road, Sultan BBQ and Grill is a halal eatery serving traditional Indian and Pakistani curries, rice dishes, and barbeque fare. At the intersection of Kingston Road and Scarborough Golf Club Road you will find Phoenix, serving pan Asian cuisine including a range of Chinese, Thai, and Hakka specialties from noodles to curries, and stir-fries. Right across the street from Phoenix is the Olde Stone Cottage Pub. Built in 1867, this relaxed alehouse is a Guildwood staple that offers classic pub fare with happy-hour deals and live music on the weekends. For dessert you can head over to Premium Sweets on Eglinton Avenue East and Markham Road to try some of their pure Bengali desserts.