This is based on the foresight of HH Aga Khan lV’s dream of bringing the faith of Islam to the world at large and make it accessible to anyone who visits Toronto in Canada.
The low-slung, white-granite Aga Khan Museum in north-east Toronto shimmers through the autumn leaves. On first view the newly opened 17-acre site seems like an image out of a desert dream. It has a garden with five reflecting pools, as well as a dramatic, glass-domed prayer hall and a community centre for local Shia Ismaili Muslims. (The Aga Khan is spiritual leader and adviser to the world’s 20m Ismailis.) This 21st-century evocation of the Muslim East — an unexpected sight in a city that gets covered in snow for months each year — makes a fantastical introduction to a museum of Islamic arts.