Gur Sikh Temple

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Gur Sikh Temple
Gur Sikh Temple 02.jpg
Gur Sikh Temple
LocationAbbotsford, British Columbia
Website Gur Sikh Temple
Official nameAbbotsford Sikh Temple National Historic Site of Canada

The Gur Sikh Temple (Gurdwara) (Punjabi: ਗੁਰ ਸਿੱਖ਼ ਗੁਰਦੁਵਾਰਾ) of Abbotsford in British Columbia is the oldest existing Sikh temple in North America and a National Historic Site Canada.[1] This makes it currently (2010) the only Sikh temple outside of India and Pakistan, that is designated as national historic site.


Gur Sikh Temple

The first Sikh pioneers came to the Abbotsford area in 1905 and originally worked on farms and in the lumber industry.[2] First plans to build a temple were made in 1908. After a property situated on a hill was acquired the settlers carried lumber from a local mill on their backs up a hill to construct the gurdwara.[2] When the Gurdwara opened on February 26, 1911 Sikhs and non-Sikhs from across British Columbia attended the ceremony and a local newspaper reported on the event.[3] The temple was a two floor building, that from the outside looked like the contemporary wood houses of seen in local frontier towns.[3] Features and decoration typical for Sikh architecture and design were only used in the interior. The first floor contains the Langar and common dining room for the community, and the second floor contains the prayer hall.[3] The building was extended twice in 1932 and in the 1960s. Until 1975 the gurdawa belonged to the Khalsa Diwan Society Vancouver (founded in 1905), then it was transferred to the Khalsa Diwan Society Abbotsford, who wished for a greater autonomy.[4] In 1983, a new, much larger, temple with a completely different architectural style was built on the opposite side of the road.[3] The old temple was designated a National Historic Site in 2002, with the designated declared by prime minister Jean Chrétien at a ceremony on July 26 of 2002.[3] In 2007 the temple reopened after it had been completely renovated. For 2011, the creation of a small museum in the basement was planned in connection with the temple's 100 years anniversary.[3] To mark the Centennial (1911-2011) of Gur Sikh Temple, Prime Minister Stephen Harper inaugurated the Sikh Heritage Museum in the ground floor of the Temple.[5][6]

On May 19, 2017 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the Canada 150 exhibit at Sikh Heritage Museum.[7]


  1. ^ Abbotsford Sikh Temple National Historic Site of Canada. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b Baker, Rochelle (December 13, 2010). "Abbotsford's Gur Sikh Temple celebrates 100 years". Abbotsford Times. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)()
  3. ^ a b c d e f Satwinder Bains: Gur Sikh Temple (archived) at (retrieved 7 April 2011)
  4. ^ "Budh Singh and Kashmir Kaur Dhahan" (Archive). Carleton University. Retrieved on April 13, 2015.
  5. ^ Marelle Reid. Abbotsford celebrates Sikh temple's centennial with Harper at
  6. ^ Neil Corbett: PM and premier join Abbotsford Gur Sikh Temple celebration. BC Local News, 2011-08-28
  7. ^ Kelvin GawleyTrudeau touts multiculturalism, acknowledges ‘black mark in our history’ at Abbotsford temple. The Abbotsord News, 2017-05-19

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Coordinates: 49°03′04″N 122°18′25″W / 49.05111°N 122.30694°W / 49.05111; -122.30694