The $300-million development slated for Wynford Drive near Don Mills Road will cover 6.8 hectares and will include a museum, an Ismaili cultural centre and a park.
The Aga Khan, leader of the group of Shia Muslims known as Ismailis, said the Aga Khan Museum for Islamic Art and Culture is his gift to Toronto.
“The museum’s focus on the arts of Islam will make it a unique institution in North America, contributing to a better understanding of Islamic civilization, the plurality within Islam and Islam’s relationship to other traditions,” said the Aga Khan.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who presented the spiritual leader with honorary Canadian citizenship, attended the ceremony.
“I’ve been deeply moved by your gracious gesture,” said the Aga Khan. “This is significant recognition of the values which our community of faith shares with the people of Canada.”