Prestigious and decadent, Guildwood (often referred to as Guildwood Village) is a highly respected pocket of serenity in southern Scarborough. Hugging the shores of Lake Ontario and flanked by several massive swaths of green space, the area boasts a proverbial gentility and historic charm, infused with striking modern accents.
Here’s a closer look at this beautiful gem of a neighbourhood.
Guildwood is situated just northeast of Scarborough Bluffs Park, along the shoreline. The area is isolated and exclusive, bordered by Scarborough Village and Kingston Road to the west and northwest, respectively. The VIA Rail and CN Rail lines form the northern border of the neighbourhood, and Guildwood ends where Grey Abbey Park circles around the eastern subdivision comprising predominantly of Greyabbey Trail. Guildwood Beach and Guild Park and Gardens meet the shore for much of the length of the community.
Comprised almost entirely of residential zoning, Guildwood evokes a sensation of being isolated from the rest of the world. It almost appears to exist as a hidden pocket of meticulous landscaping, sleepy streets, and opulent stonework. In fact, the main entrance to the community consists of an impressive stone pillar and cast iron gateway, situated at Kingston Road and Guildwood Parkway. When the neighbourhood was initially developed, the plan was to preserve as many trees as possible in the area, which has continued to this day. There’s an impressive sense of collective respect to nature and greenery throughout much of the area as a result.
Subdivisions complete with winding roads and cul-de-sacs serve as the infrastructure for much of Guildwood’s residential zoning. In 1957, it’s famous “Avenue of Homes” served as the basis of the neighbourhood’s development. This collection of upscale and prestigious homes continued to blossom and spread, and soon enough the area had gained a reputation for being an exclusive upper-class community.
Guildwood is often a retreat considered by retirees or those looking to settle down in a relaxed atmosphere to start families, with several retirement residences and housing developments merged into one cohesive community. There’s a wide assortment of homes that evoke Americana and traditional English styles, but you’ll also stumble across elegant modern abodes that mingle harmoniously with the surrounding landscape.
The way the neighbourhood is developed allows for these styles to intertwine without intruding upon one another. Jack Miner Senior Public School is located on Guildwood Parkway in a centralized location, and other public schools can be found just north of the neighbourhood. Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute is situated just next to Guild Park and Gardens, and with the park’s incorporation of repurposed Old Toronto stone facades as decorations, the area presents an air of academia and intellectual curiosity. If you can get past the minimal presence of businesses save for the essentials (head north to West Hill for more shopping if need be), this can be a wonderful retreat from city life.
The VIA Rail and Guildwood GO Station at the north end of the neighbourhood is the primary means of quick access to and from inner Toronto, and it is highly encouraged to use the GO Transit network. It offers 1,348 parking spaces and is frequently used by commuters. Travelling by car isn’t as practical if you commute into the city, but is doable in a pinch if you can handle the traffic. Another alternative is to take bus route 116, which will take you from Guildwood Parkway to Kennedy Station in Eglinton, which offers express transfers into Toronto.
Living in Guildwood is serene, tranquil, and simple. Groups of tourists or locals tend to partake in historic architectural walking tours and explore the rustic woodland nature trail. Various events take place throughout the year as well, including Guildwood Day, which features games, crafts, a parade along Guildwood Parkway, and an evening community barbeque. This comes around every June and is very popular amongst residents and tourists alike. The neighbourhood boasts a very active community association that produces its own newsletter and sponsors events throughout the community.
Children will find countless playmates and be enticed to bike over to a friend’s house to have a little fun during their downtime, free of the noise and neon distractions produced in more densely populated areas. Seniors and families will find ample parkland to visit and explore, and there are always activities in the works throughout Guildwood to keep things fresh and exciting.
This lush, pristine neighbourhood is the ideal place to settle down and find a slice of serenity. Guildwood provides an isolated, privatized approach to living, and as such it allows for families to be free of commercial distractions and better appreciate their time with one another.
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