Toronto’s Aga Khan Park: Inspired by Islamic gardens around the world — The National UAE

Aga Khan park Ismail, centre and the Museum in Toronto

Five reflecting pools lie at the heart of the gardens and reflect the striking architecture of the Ismaeli Centre. Photo by Janet Kimber

When he came to design the 6.8-hectare Aga Khan Park in Toronto, the Lebanon-based landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic took his cues from age-old Islamic gardens around the world, creating a space that is designed to both captivate and act as a catalyst for change, Selina Denman writes


To this effect, he placed the emphasis firmly on sensory experiences – sounds, aromas and colours. The design is based on a traditional chahar bagh, or four-part garden, and a natural geometry was created through the systematic planting of serviceberry trees, a landscape tree and shrub from the Rosaceae family that is native to the northern hemisphere. In the formal gardens, Djurovic used Russian sage, periwinkle and thyme, as well as redwood and honey locust trees, creating a tranquil destination for contemplation, as well as a versatile space for public and private events.

Beyond the gardens, which are encircled by cedar hedges, the park is home to rose glow barberry, Chinese wisteria, forsythia bushes and a wide range of tree species, including river birch, freeman maple, star magnolia, trembling aspen, silver maple, poplar, spruce and weeping cherry.

Trees and shrubs were chosen for their varied colours and forms, as well as their ability to survive Canada’s harsh climate. Their ability to attract birds and butterflies was also key.

There is a total of 2,300 square metres of “green performance space”, interspersed with 1,600 metres of paved walkways. And at the heart of the garden are five reflecting pools carved from black granite that mirror the sky and reflect the striking architecture of the Aga Khan Museum and Ismaeli Centre.


Read full and view more photos on The National UE


FULL LIVE WEBCAST Opening ceremonies of the Ismaili Centre Toronto and Aga Khan Museum

Badruddin Keshavji

Badruddin Keshavji

Published on 12 Sep 2014

Aga Khan Museum in Toronto sends a message of peace and pluralism to the world at a time of fraught relations between the West and Muslims.

The $300 million Aga Khan Museum on Wynford Dr. — highly visible from the Don Valley Parkway — is more than a stunning architectural and cultural addition to Toronto.


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