TORONTO, CANADA, July 24, 2017 (CBC News): Thousands from the Hindu community in Toronto and beyond turned out Saturday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of an iconic temple that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called “without a doubt one of Canada’s architectural wonders.” The celebration of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, temple, located in Etobicoke, also saw His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj be given a key to the city of Toronto by Mayor John Troy. Mahant Swami Maharaj is the sixth spiritual guru of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS).
“I am honored to recognize his Holiness’ global and Toronto-based humanitarian, charitable, and community-building efforts through BAPS Charities Canada,” Mayor Tory said in a press release. “His Holiness’ great contributions have enriched Toronto.” Spokesperson Nilesh Mehta says it took 6,000 tons of marble and stone, mined in Italy and Turkey, and 1,500 people to hand-carve the pieces, which were then assembled in Canada with the help of hundreds of volunteers. “That tells you something about the Indo-Canadian community, that Canada is our home. When you put up a building that’s going to stand there for 1,000 years, that means we’re here to stay.”