Who would have thought Canada would get an Islamic garden — in Don Mills at that? But there it is, green and serene next to the noisy Don Valley Parkway.
It links two new architectural jewels, the Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Art and an Ismaili Centre, on a transformed 17-acre site on Wynford Dr.
The renowned Lebanese-Serbian landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic tells the story of how when he won the competition to design the garden, the Aga Khan handed him a list of places to visit and said: “Once you’ve done that, let’s meet again.”
Off went Djurovic to the gardens of the Taj Mahal and two other Mughal monuments in India — Fatehpur Sikri near Agra, and the emperor Humayun’s tomb in Delhi. In Spain, he saw Alhambra in Granada. In Egypt, Al-Azhar Park in Cairo. Those of us who’ve visited these places adore them as marvels of Islamic geometry and leafy relief from the stark grandeur of stone structures.