A brief history of the Temple
In the late sixties, the need for community worship and hence a temple was strongly felt among people of Sri Lankan / South Indian origin, who had migrated from different parts of the world. The Hindu Temple Society of Canada was chartered in 1973 as a non-profit religious institution, with about 10 trustees, with the objective of building and maintaining a temple, following the Agama Sastras. For about 10 years, there was not much progress in the project due to various socio-economical reasons, but the members kept the idea of the temple alive by patient planning and ardent praying. With the surge in the immigration of large Hindu community in the eighties, land was bought in the town of Richmond Hill, north of Toronto.
Divine guidance and intervention made this possible. The site was consecrated in October 1983 and the ardent task of building a temple began, with the installation and consecration of Lord Ganesa at a temporary altar in 1984, which was later moved to a pre-fabricated building. It should be pointed out that for the first time, a Hindu Temple was built entirely through ‘Kar-Seva’ (volunteer labor) of men, women and children. A priest was brought from India to do the daily pujas.
In 1987-88, the main complex was designed and the construction commenced with lots of volunteers supporting the project, which resulted in significant cost reduction. The services in the main temple started with the installation of Lord Muruga in his present abode, on 2nd July 1988.
The overall design was done by the well known Mr. V.Janakiramana Sthapathi, who hails from the same architect family that built the famous Big Temple in Tanjavur in South India during the Chola period. He had designed and helped build the Temple with his team of sculptors, with consultations and advice from many religious experts and leaders including the Senior Sankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. The beauty and the greatness of the fine artwork are beyond description and can be appreciated only by a personal visit and experience.
In 1992, two vimanas (Altar Towers) were built on top of the altars of Lord Muruga and Lord Venkateswara and a ‘Vimana Kumbabishekam’ was performed in late 1992. The construction concluded with the Maha Kumbabhishekam on August 30, 2001.
The temple crossed yet another landmark on April 7th, 2002 when all 12 Azhwaars as well as Ramanuja were installed and consecrated in the temple, and thus became the first temple in North America to do so.
The Temple complex is said to be the largest Hindu Temple in North America built and run under the Agama Sastra traditions as specified in the scriptures. Additionally, the Muruga vighraha or idol is said to be the tallest Muruga idol in the world! Various festivals are being celebrated in the temple almost 200 days a year. There are six full time highly qualified priests engaged in the temple currently, in addition to a Manager and several other permanent staff. The temple is managed by an efficient board of Trustees, comprising people of various walks of life and professions.
The origin story of the Hindu Temple Society of Canada
Hinduism is the oldest religion known to man and is believed to date back for more than 4,000 years. This religion evolved alongside humankind and millions of devotees still follow historic Hindu teachings. Meet your spiritual needs at the Hindu Temple Society of Canada and be part of our growing community!
In the late sixties, the need for community worship was strongly felt among people of Sri Lankan and South Indian origin that migrated to Ontario Canada. This led to the birth of this sacred temple dedicated to Hinduism.
A brief history of the Hindu Temple Society of Canada
To build and maintain a temple following the Agama Sastras teaching, the Hindu Temple Society of Canada was established. This non-profit religious institution had 10 trustees in 1973 which means that this project did not progress.
Despite this, the members kept the idea of the temple alive by patient planning and ardent praying. Due to the surge of Hindu immigrants in the 80s, the trustees were able to buy the land in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto.
The temple’s spiritual leaders believe that divine guidance and intervention made this possible. The site was consecrated in October 1983 and construction began. The temple was built entirely through ‘Kar-Seva’ or volunteer labour of the devotees.
The Lord Ganesa altar was successfully installed in 1984 but was later moved to another part of the temple in 1987. Lord Muruga’s statue was erected next after everything had settled down in the main temple. This is the first time that a Hindu temple was built through the volunteer efforts of the community in Richmond.
The overall design was done by the well known Mr V. Janakiramana Sthapathi, whose family was responsible for building the Big Temple in Tanjavur, South India during the Chola period. He volunteered to design the temple with his team of sculptors guided by consultations and advice from many religious experts and leaders, including the Senior Sankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.
In 1992, two vimanas were built on top of the altars of Lord Muruga and Lord Venkateswara. The construction finally ended after the Maha Kumbabhishekam was finished on August 30, 2001. Also, this is the first Hindu temple in North America to install 12 Azhwaars and Ramanju on April 7, 2002.
It is with great pride for us that our temple is the largest Hindu temple in Canada specified in the Agama Sastra traditions and scriptures. Additionally, the Muruga Vighraha is said to be the tallest Muruga idol in the world!
Various festivals are celebrated in this sacred temple throughout the year. There are six full-time highly qualified priests that serve the temple and its devotees. The temple is managed by an efficient board of trustees from various walks of life and professions.