Prime Minister Stephen Harper and His Highness the Aga Khan will dig shovels into the dirt today at the future site of a $300-million cultural centre for Ismaili Muslims. By 2013, the seven-acre expanse near Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue will be home to a world-class museum, multi-purpose building and parklands, cementing this city's importance as a past and future destination for the Ismaili diaspora. Farid Damji, a member of the Ismaili Council for Canada, said the Aga Khan chose to build the centre in Toronto because of its "cosmopolitan cultural outlook."
Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum - Museum and worship centre to be linked by park
After more than a decade in planning and design, a suite of culturally invigorating projects initiated and financed by the Aga Khan are breaking ground in north Toronto.
Two buildings, the Aga Khan Museum and an Ismaili worship centre, will be knit together by an all-season park featuring allées of birch and ginkgo trees and infinity pools made of black granite, designed in the spirit of the Islamic chahar bagh, a formal garden.
It's hard to imagine a more truly international community than the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims.
They're a people without a territory and they've made their homes in more than 25 countries on five continents. The Aga Khan, their hereditary imam (or spiritual leader), lives in France.
But it's no coincidence that it's Canada that was chosen for the Ismailis' $300-million investment in a new site where adherents can practise their religion and where the world at large can contemplate and celebrate Islamic culture.
Le premier musée nord-américain dédié à l'art islamique sera construit à Toronto. Les travaux de la future institution seront lancés officiellement vendredi sur un site du secteur des rues Don Mills et Eglinton.
À son ouverture, prévue en 2013, le musée présentera plus de 1000 pièces qui témoigneront de 1000 ans d'histoire du monde musulman sur des territoires qui s'étendent de la Chine à la péninsule ibérique.
Un volet éducatif
As Aga Khan visits Toronto to lay foundation for major Islamic centre, local Ismailis welcome the man who told them, ‘Make Canada your home’
He is a jet-setting billionaire, owner of one of the world’s renowned horse-racing stud farms, and an admired philanthropist who briefly called Rita Hayworth his stepmother.
He is also a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed and the spiritual leader of 15 million Ismaili Muslims around the globe.
The new Ismaili Centre being built in Toronto will include the biggest Islamic museum in the English-speaking world.
To most Canadians, he is known simply as the Aga Khan.
Few are likely to know much more about the man, considered to be the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, a community made up of more than 30,000 people in Toronto alone.
The Aga Khan will be in Toronto on Friday to mark the groundbreaking for the first museum of Islamic art and culture in North America, an Ismaili centre and park near Don Mills Rd. and Eglinton Ave.
Head of Ismaili Muslim community to open museum and park in 2013
The Aga Khan is creating an Ismaili Centre, Muslim art museum and park on a 6.8-hectare site in Toronto.
The Aga Khan, head of the world's Ismaili Muslim community, will be in Toronto to break ground on the construction of the Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture.
The development includes an Ismaili Centre and a park area on Wynford Drive near the Don Valley Parkway.
A $300 million Ismaili project on Wynford Drive will get underway with a ground breaking Friday, May 28.
The Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, will be on hand for the ceremony.
Slated for completion in 2013, the 17-acre development in the Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue area will be made up of the Ismaili Centre Toronto, the Aga Khan Museum and a park.
Artist's rendering of the Wynford Dr. Aga Khan Museum project which will include an Ismaili centre and park. The project is being designed by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki.
The artistic pieces have graced the homes of Mughal emperors, adorned the gardens of Persian palaces and educated the masses of the Muslim world.
Soon, over 1,000 years of Islamic art and culture will find a permanent home in Toronto.
The groundbreaking for the Aga Khan Museum, the first in North America solely devoted to Islamic art, will take place on Friday near Don Mills Rd. and Eglinton Ave. E. The museum will be built alongside an Ismaili centre and park on a 7-hectare site at 49 Wynford Dr.
TORONTO, May 26
Foundation Ceremony for the Ismaili Centre, the Aga Khan Museum and Park to take place in Toronto, Friday
TORONTO, May 26 /CNW Telbec/ - On Friday, May 28, 2010, His Highness the Aga Khan will participate in the Foundation Ceremony to mark the beginning of the development of the Ismaili Centre, the first-ever Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture, and their Park, in Toronto's Don Mills area.
An artist's rendering shows the pools in the formal garden.