Cedar Ridge Creative Centre is a vibrant arts and culture hub housed in a 1912 mansion, nestled within lush gardens and scenic woods with a variety of walking trails.
The historic charm of this one-time summer home boasts a grand feel with the original chandelier and hardwood floors. The Centre provides rental opportunities for artists to exhibit work and for the public to host weddings and special events.
The main building’s library, living room, dining room solarium are now Cedar Ridge Studio Gallery. The upper floor of the main house and the adjacent carriage house contain working studio spaces for hands-on creative arts programs. Cedar Ridge Creative Centre offers classes for all ages: fine arts (watercolour, acrylics, oils, drawing, inks and pastels), sculpture, pottery, animation, illustration, weaving, knitting and folk art.
The site provides a space where artists and artisans can experiment and share their creative work within the community. Cedar Ridge Creative Centre also conducts outreach projects with the Community Arts Guild, Precious Gems and other partners.
Cedar Ridge Studio Gallery’s Evolution and the Volunteer Community
In 1932, Rosa and Spenser Clark had established the Guild of All Arts at the former summer home of Colonel Bickford, overlooking the Scarborough Bluffs. And in 1968, The Guildwood School of Arts and Crafts was founded. The school operated out of Corycliffe Lodge and the Log Cabin on the grounds of the Guild Inn. The Guild of All Arts soon became so successful that the buildings at the Guild couldn’t accommodate the numbers requesting classes. Bethune House, a City of Scarborough owned building, was available and the school relocated, changing its name to Guildcrest Studios.
In 1976, plans were underway to enlarge the Bethune location to provide more studio space. However, with the recent death of John Fraser in 1977, his estate Cedar Ridge was acquired by the City of Scarborough through a land swap with Metropolitan Toronto. The Guildcrest Studios were invited by the City of Scarborough to redirect their fundraising activities to renovate Cedar Ridge, an opportunity to develop a gallery as well as teaching studios.
The beauty of the original home was retained in the main floor gallery space. The upper floor and basement area were developed into teaching studio spaces. Cedar Ridge Studio Gallery operated the gallery and studios from 1978 to 1985. The City of Scarborough took over the daily operations of the Creative Centre in 1986 and today it is operated and programmed by the City of Toronto’s Cultural Services.
Carrie Cockburn Photography, 2019
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