Aga Khan drops $25 million gift on University of Alberta Botanic Garden — Edmonton Journal com| News, Photos and video

North America’s largest — and possibly the world’s coldest — Islamic-inspired garden is to be built in Alberta, a $25-million gift from the Aga Khan that is expected to attract up to 160,000 visitors a year.

An overview of the Aga Khan Garden.

Spanning almost 12 acres, the Mughal garden, which was officially unveiled Friday, will become the centrepiece of the sprawling 240-acre University of Alberta Botanic Garden, located about 15 minutes southwest of the city.

Design work on the project began six years ago after the Aga Khan, the hereditary Imam or spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, visited the garden and suggested the idea.

Early stages of construction began in the summer of 2016 and the new garden is scheduled to open in time for the Aga Khan’s diamond jubilee celebrations in July 2018.

The University of Alberta is predicting that the Aga Khan Garden, which will be the size of six Canadian Football League fields, could increase attendance to about 160,000 people from between 60,000 to 70,000 annually.

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