When David Pontarini, the celebrated architect of Rodeo Drive, speaks about the recently opened Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre at Eglinton Avenue and Don Mills Road, words like “strikingly beautiful,” “wonderfully elegant” and “brilliantly executed” easily fall from his lips. And his fulsome praise echoes the more or less universal hosannas the project has received from the international architectural press. Built at a cost of around $350 million, the museum and prayer centre is an extraordinary act of generosity by the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims. Designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, the museum, clad in eye-popping Brazilian white granite, has been lauded for its almost other-worldly serenity, doubtless a reflection of its spare modernist aesthetic. Across an equally stun-ning plaza, itself a contemporary interpretation of a traditional Mughal garden, is the renowned Indian architect Charles Correa’s Ismaili Prayer Centre, with its extraordinary glass dome, an engineering feat many still struggle to explain; it’s that ingenious and novel. This extraordinary complex, the first museum in North America devoted solely to chronicling a millennia of Muslim art and culture, is a testament to the Aga Khan’s often spoken belief that Canada is the global poster child for pluralism, diversity and tolerance, and nowhere are those qualities more in evidence that in the Don Mills community, itself. That fact is the result of a very wise decision made by the Aga Khan’s great friend, the late prime minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau.