“Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood has long been a welcoming starting point for immigrants to Canada. Now, IMARA National, on behalf of the city’s Ismaili community, is proposing to replace their existing facilities on Overlea Boulevard with an architecturally adventurous redevelopment that better suits the growing community’s needs” — Anthony Teles writing for Urban Toronto, February 2, 2023.
Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
In a post dated January 21, 2023, Simerg reported about a new Ismaili Cultural Centre housing and Jamatkhana that is being proposed in Port Moody, British Columbia. In the introductory piece we also provided a link to an excellent piece on the website of Anthem Properties containing renditions of the building and other pertinent details.
Now, two weeks after the Port Moody article and as Toronto along with the rest of Ontario is gripped with some of the coldest temperatures recorded, we are pleased to provide a link to a report by Anthony Teles in Urban Toronto under the heading Ismaili Community Centre and Jamatkhana Proposed for Redevelopment in Thorncliffe Park (please click on the link to read Anthony’s report that includes more renditions of the Jamatkhana building as well as other important details.)
In its coverage, Urban Toronto notes that the site is where the Don Mills Jamatkhana is currently located in a one-storey building, in a vibrant multi-cultural neighbourhood, Thorncliffe Park, north of the Don Valley Parkway and south of Eglinton Avenue. The author of this post, Malik, is familiar with the location. It is a 7-10 minute drive to the Ontario Science on Don Mills Road and then another 3-5 drive to the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Museum on Wynford Drive, the block now ceremoniously called the Aga Khan Boulevard. These locations will be served by a new Light Rail Transit (LRT) railway line later this year. The LRT station near the Museum is aptly named Aga Khan Park & Museum (see photograph, below.)
The Don Mills and the York Mills areas of Toronto have the highest concentration of Ismailis in Canada. Within a radius of 5-10 kms from the Ismaili Centre on 49 Wynford Drive or Aga Khan Boulevard, there are currently three Jamatkhanas — the Don Mills, which would be replaced with the new project, East York and Willowdale. Of course there are several other Jamatkhanas in the Greater Toronto region including Richmond Hill in the north, Scarborough in the east and Etobicoke, Brampton and Mississauga in the west. There is also a Jamatkhana catering to the Ismaili community in the downtown area.
Date posted: February 4, 2023.
Last updated: February 6, 2023 (formatting and typos.)
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