Ontario Khalsa Darbar
|Ontario Khalsa Darbar|
|Location||7080 Dixie Road, Mississauga, Ontario|
|Architect(s)||Hardial Dhir Architect|
The Ontario Khalsa Darbar is a notable Sikh temple in Mississauga, Ontario. One of the largest Sikh temples in Canada, it attracts tens of thousands of celebrants for major religious festivals. A gurdwara (Punjabi: ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ, gurdu'ārā or ਗੁਰਦਵਾਰਾ, gurdvārā), meaning "the doorway to the Guru", is the Sikh place of worship and may be referred to as a Sikh temple.
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It was officially started in 1978 in a small trailer. Steadily, more and more money was raised and land was purchased and a building was created in 1988. Its new location is at 7080 Dixie Road, Mississauga, Ontario. The opening ceremony in 1989 drew a crowd of 10,000.
During the 1990s more land was bought and an outdoor stadium was built. Hardial Dhir Architect was chosen to reconstruct and design the community centre and additions to the Gurdwara. The Gurdwara is the central Gurdwara in the Greater Toronto Area.
In the mid to late 1990s the old building was getting overcrowded so a 6 million dollar project was announced to build a large extension. Much money was raised, however the building still gets overcrowded on special days like Bandhi Chhor ("Release from Confinement", held according to Nanakshahi calendar on same date as Diwali) and Vaisakhi and New Year (December 31). In 2001 the Nagar Kirtan (which celebrates Viasakhi) had a crowd of nearly 100,000 people.
In 2003 the Bandhi Chhor celebration drew in a crowd of over 40,000 people. This is when the Gurdwara got a lot of popularity. It has an atmosphere like if it is a major Gurdwara in India. A new plan in 2004 was announced to build a $3 million parking lot. This parking lot would be filled with many historical paintings and information boards.
The temple has been the subject of several controversies such as a donation to the African National Congress in 1990, a dispute over whether Sikh marriages can be performed in a hotel which serves alcohol and meat, and when a Sikh priest stayed at the temple, thus defying a deportation order.
- this Google News archive search. Accessed December 8, 2009.
- Kellie Hudson, "10,000 Sikhs join celebration as shrine opens on Dixie Rd." Toronto Star, June 26, 1989. Found at . Accessed December 8, 2009.
- Frank Calleja, "Sikh fest spectacular ; 100,000 celebrate in Mississauga and Toronto," Toronto Star, April 23, 2001. Found at "Sikh fest spectacular ; 100,000 celebrate in Mississauga and Toronto," story. Accessed December 8, 2009.
- caroline Byrne, "Mohawks may get visit by Mandela, official says," Toronto Star, July 16, 1990, found at article about the African national congress visit and donation. Accessed December 8, 2009.
- Caroline Mallan, "Sikh priest stays in temple defying immigration order," Toronto Star, November 22, 1991, found at a Sikh priest who stayed at the Ontario Khalsa Darbar, defying a deportation order. Accessed December 8, 2009.
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