The National, Abu Dhabi | The new Aga Khan Museum in Toronto is an oasis of calm and reflection

The architectural ensemble, a US$300 million (Dh1.1 billion) project realised without any state funding, is a gift from Canada’s Ismaili community, which numbers about 100,000, more than half of whom live in the Toronto area.

Ismaili ties to Canada were strengthened in 1972, when the North American country absorbed many families … The Aga Khan has called Canada a global model for diversity.

The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, will house more than 1,000 items. Gary Otte / Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, will house more than 1,000 items. Gary Otte / Aga Khan Museum

By David D’Arcy for

Between wooded ravines north-east of downtown Toronto in Canada, a cone jutting upwards from beige limestone shares a seven-hectare site with a massive rectangle in elegant white granite that resembles an open box. Both structures form a bridge between the tradition and culture of the Islamic world and the present and future of Canada.

… In the soft September light, the structures are luminous. In the evening, the buildings are reflected in wide pools, part of gardens designed by the Lebanese landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic.

Booming, sprawling Toronto, where tower blocks under construction jostle for space, lacked a contemplative cultural site. Now it has one in the new garden campus.

It also lacked much in the way of art from Islamic lands. Now it has 1,000 works – from Mughal paintings to ceramics, from rugs to Persian manuscripts, some of which travelled to Dubai for an exhibition in March. An ambitious acquisition effort promises even more to come.


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All stories from Ismailimail reporting from Toronto:

Humbled and Grateful: Ismailimail invited to momentous occasion

Aga Khan Museum: Welcomes the World – Doors Open to the Public

Ismailimail | Jubilation: Memories of Toronto

Aga Khan Museum Inauguration – Media & Press Coverage

The Prime Minister’s Office | 24 SEVEN Exclusive: PM marks opening of Ismaili Centre, Aga Khan Museum and Park

The Wall Street Journal | The Aga Khan’s New Islamic Treasure Trove

Forbes | A Museum Gifted By Aga Khan

The Washington Post | Pulitzer Prize-winning Art and Architecture Critic writes about Aga Khan Museum & Ismaili Centre in Toronto

The Globe & Mail | Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum, opening this week, is a world-class showcase for Islamic art

Newsweek | Aga Khan Museum: Enlightened Islam Fights Back Against Jihadist Brutality

Al Jazeera | Aga Khan Museum: Inside N America’s first Islamic art museum

Al Arabiya – العربية | Video: Aga Khan: Canada’s first Islamic Art Museum

Fast Company | Ainsley O’Connell: A Look Inside Fumihiko Maki’s Gorgeous New Museum For Islamic Art

The Guardian | Aga Khan Museum: North America finally gets a home for Islamic art

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