Guild Inn

Strategic Counsel and Project Management to create a home for a Culture and Heritage Institute

In reaction to rapid change and growth in the needs of Canada’s tourism industry, the Culture and Heritage Institute was created by the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism at Centennial College.  The Guild Inn in the former City of Scarborough, a derilict collection of buildings, including a small hotel, was identified as a possible location.

NetGain was asked to manage the development proposal on behalf of Centennial College. This required the assembly of a feasible plan for redevelopment of the property that respected the heritage and ecological concerns of the owner (Toronto and Region Conservation Authority), the lessor (the City of Toronto), and an intensely interested community.

Once the proposal was fully articulated, NetGain navigated the project through the municipal bureaucracies in culture and parks, including a protracted negotiation of a letter of intent and a long term lease. Subsequently the project shifted to include a commercial residential developer, leading to a new round of negotiations and approvals. This process continues as the City waits for a clear indication of community support.

On a concurrent path, the Institute needed to establish its reputation as a significant force in the culture, heritage, and tourism communities it was meant to serve. The Institute’s annual symposium provided opportunities for research into the needs of the field which helped develop a network of local and global relationships and established the brand recognition needed to continue generating new experiences and progressive ideas.

The plan to build relationships around themes and issues, rather than appealing to the field’s siloed disciplines, set the stage for a wide variety of cross-disciplinary possibilities.