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home > articles > The Guild Inn, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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The Guild Inn - Scarborough (Toronto), Ontario, Canada
by Joseph DiFrancesco

The Guild Inn was built in the year of 1914 on top of the Scarborough Bluffs. The inn was originally named Ranelagh Park and was built as a summer home for Colonel Harold Bickford and his family.

This beautiful home was built like a palace and consisted of everything such as: servants, a nursery, a library, a grand stairway, more than six bedrooms as well as they had guest rooms for their visitors.

In the basement was the boiler room. As well as, they had storage, laundry and even a fruit and vegetable room. In the year of 1921, the Guild Inn was sold and became a boarding school for the China Mission Seminary until the year of 1923.

Within that year, Mr. Richard Veech Look had purchased this boarding school for his family yet again, as a summer house, and called it Cliff Acres. Mr. Look was then moved to Quebec in 1927 due to his position that he held within his company.

He still owned the Cliff Acres property even though it was not vacant from 1927 to 1932. The Look family had finally sold the property in 1932 to a newly married couple named Rosa and Spencer Clark. The Clarks then turned it into the Guild of all Arts. Mr. and Mrs. Clark had opened their doors to those gifted in the arts in exchange for the artist to provide their work for free so the public could enjoy it.

In 1942 the building was then sold to the Womenís Royal Canadian Naval Service. This group was working in secrecy; so much so they changed all the locks on the doors until their operations were turned over to the government in 1944.

The government turned the Guild Inn into a recuperative center for returning war veterans with nervous disorders. They housed hundreds of patients until the year of 1947 where it finally got the name Guild Inn, and is still known as this today.

There is a tunnel under the Guild Inn. They say that shortly after the war, the Canadian government had created a tunnel from the Scarborough Bluffs to access the main building. Nobody knows how long the tunnel was, however they say it went quite a distance. Was the tunnel for the soldiers that were coming down from the St. Lawrence River into Lake Ontario?

There are also rumors that experiments may have been conducted within these tunnels during the war. Rumor has it that the tunnels were not part of the summer home, but were constructed during the war. When they were built and what type of experiments went on within the tunnel walls will remain a mystery for most.

The Tunnel
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There was a ghost investigation team who went into the Guild Inn and weird things happened. One of the team went into the tunnel and saw a dark, huddled, human-like mass at a far corner. Then a figure appeared and started walking towards them.

Before leaving their investigation, on the last day two of the investigators went back into the tunnels. While there something had run down a side tunnel they had just crossed. As they investigated the noise, they found a female spirit. This woman within the tunnel is said to have a naval uniform on and it is said that her hair is pulled tightly back into a bun.

Noises from the rooms
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When two of the investigators had booked a room to stay overnight, at around 5:30am there was a loud banging from the room next to them. They had thought it was the people next door wanting them to quiet down as they were talking very loudly. However, as they continued to talk, the doorknob between the suites of the hotel was turning.

A very unexplainable experience that not only those team members had experienced, also the people who were in the next room had said that, they had heard the same banging, as well as seeing the doorknob turning.

The Boy
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Another local legend known to this group is that of a ghost boy. When one of them was going to sleep a little boy appeared at the right side of the bed. This little boy was trying to get their attention and would not get out of the investigatorís face.

What this investigator did notice however about this little boy was that, one eye was blue, while the other was brown. So in question, could it have been him who was banging on the room walls and turning the doorknob to get attention?

The Fridge
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An interesting story was told by a former employee that took place while he was locking up after his shift. He had heard a huge bang from the walk-in fridge. When he went into it, he could not help but notice the lock on the door was unlocked. The employee had just locked it a few moments ago before he was going to retire for the night.

When he walked into the fridge he had discovered a box of melons had been knocked over. He cleaned up the mess and locked the fridge again. As he was walking away there was another bang. Now even more confused he walked back and noticed the lock lying on the floor.

This time he saw a man wearing a top hat and tuxedo with tails. This spirit started to walk around the table in the kitchen and then went through a closed door. Never again did this employee see the man after that night.

The Elevator
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The last local legend of the Guild Inn is the elevators. They used the elevators during the investigation and one time the group didnít get the right floor. They wanted the ground level, but the elevator went wild and would not stop. It stopped at the tunnels; the door opened for a moment, closed and then went to the right level.

Joseph DiFrancesco
Author of Wicca Living as a Solitary Wiccan: Further Enhancing your Faith

** Photos courtesy of Guildwood Village Community Association

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