Buddhism is believed by many to be more of a philosophy, rather than a religion, and has the ultimate goal to free oneself from the cycle of suffering. It originally began in India, but its practice was spread across many Asian countries with slightly different beliefs. There are nowadays several major schools of Buddhism that have successfully made inroads into the west and Canada is no exemption. Toronto, specifically, is home to a large number of non-profit organizations and temples, where the teachings of Buddha are observed and open to both devotees and tourists. Meditation courses, retreats, weekly services, and services for kids are some of the activities offered at these temples. Read on to learn more about these top Buddhist temples in Toronto, Canada.
1. Buddhist Prajna Temple
The Buddhist Prajna Temple is a non-profit social charity organization and a humble place where people come to find harmony and peace within. The temple was founded with the purpose of promoting Chinese traditional culture, but also aims to urge people on in charitable actions. The temple is open to everyone, regardless of one’s background, and is nowadays also a platform where believers may practice Buddhist teachings and doctrines. Books and audiovisual materials, all related to Buddhism, have uniquely enriched the temple.
Buddhist Prajna Temple
Address: 313 Main St N, Markham, ON L3P 1Z2, Canada
Website: Buddhist Prajna Temple
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9.30am - 4pm; Sat & Sun: 9am - 4pm (closed on Mon)
2. Karma Sonam Dargye Ling Temple
This Tibetan Buddhist Temple is an active temple that coordinates a number of events throughout the year, including a Deity Practice (Green Tara, White Tara, and more), meditation classes, offerings, world peace prayers, and other activities, like Calm Abiding. If you wish to learn the basics of the Tibetan language, then the Karma Sonam Dargye Ling Temple is the place to do it on the weekends, at no cost.
Karma Sonam Dargye Ling Temple
Address: 12 Maynard Ave, Toronto, ON M6K 2Z9, Canada
Website: Karma Sonam Dargye Ling Temple
3. Toronto Nichiren Buddhist Church
Sunday, May 28th, 2017: The Birth of the Buddha - Hanamatsuri Service- 2017528Posted by Toronto Nichiren Buddhist Church on Monday, 29 May 2017
Named after the Japanese monk Nichiren, who lived in the 13th century, the Toronto Nichiren Buddhist Church believes in the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, according to which everyone can achieve enlightenment and live happily since we all have Buddha Nature (we are all Buddha’s children).
As a functioning temple, there are a number of social events taking place here throughout the year, as well as services twice a month and weekly morning service broadcasts.
Toronto Nichiren Buddhist Church
Address: 20 Caithness Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 3X7, Canada
Website: Toronto Nichiren Buddhist Church
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 8am - 4pm (closed on Mon)
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4. Cham Shan Temple
Reflecting the Pure Land Buddhism (one of the major schools of Buddhism), the Cham Shan Temple goes by two main rules, to ‘perceive with wisdom and reach out with compassion’. Also known as the 'Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple’, since that’s how many miniature gold Buddhas can be found within the temple, the Cham Shan temple also features the statue of the 'Lord who looks down’ and his thousand arms represent the multiple ways he is helping humanity.
Worship services can be enjoyed by both tourists and devotees, while guided tours for a better understanding of Buddhist philosophy take place during the summer.
Cham Shan Temple
Address: 7254 Bayview Ave, Thornhill, ON L3T 2R6, Canada
Website: Cham Shan Temple
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
5. Fu Sien Tong Buddhist Temple
The Fu Sien Tong Buddhist Temple is another temple that belongs to the Pure Land Buddhist school, but this time with Vietnamese origin. The building is pretty colorful, both inside and outside, which makes for a large contrast with the surrounding typical Toronto buildings. Within the temple, visitors will be surprised by the red and gold complex symbols that are found here. The temple might be small, however it has a rather warm and peaceful feeling.
Fu Sien Tong Buddhist Temple
Address: 185 Niagara St, Toronto, ON M5V 1C9, Canada
Website: Fu Sien Tong Buddhist Temple
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
6. Toronto Buddhist Church
True Pure Land teaching (Jodo Shinshu) is also practiced at the Toronto Buddhist Church, which is a place ‘specially designed to make you feel peace’, as they claim. Visitors and devotees are more than welcome to take part in various events and classes held regularly, like mindful meditation, interactive activities for kids, Sunday services in English and monthly Japanese services, as well as lectures about Buddhism and meditation. Unique, Buddhist-related books and items are also available for purchase inside the temple.
Toronto Buddhist Church
Address: 1011 Sheppard Avenue West, North York, ON M3H 2T7, Canada
Website: Toronto Buddhist Church
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat: 12.30 - 4pm (closed on Sun)
7. Ching Kwok Buddhist Temple
Situated in a common city neighborhood, with old houses and parked cars, another Vietnamese Pure Land temple, the Ching Kwok (Tai Bay) Buddhist Temple, brings an oriental aura to the area. It features Chinese architecture and a bright red color, while the interior includes red pillars and golden statues. Several services are offered here, such as Buddhist studies in English, offering ceremonies, meditation retreats, and dharma services, among others.
Ching Kwok Buddhist Temple
Address: 300 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5T 2S3, Canada
Website: Ching Kwok Buddhist Temple
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat & Sun: 9.30am - 5.30pm
8. Zen Buddhist Temple-Toronto
As clearly implied by its name, the Zen Buddhist Temple is a temple where Zen Buddhism (another major school of Buddhism) is practiced. It was founded in the early 70s with the purpose of serving the Korean-Canadian community, but it has since grown and is open to everyone who wishes to learn more about Zen Buddhism.
Public services are offered on Sundays at 10 am and 4 pm for a small donation, while other services also take place here, like a monthly children’s service, meditation courses, retreats, one-week stays for further practice, as well as a daily practice for members.
Zen Buddhist Temple-Toronto
Address: 86 Vaughan Rd, York, ON M6C 2M2, Canada
Website: Zen Buddhist Temple-Toronto
9. Riwoche Tibetan Buddhist Temple
With a focus on the present age and Vajrayana Buddhism (Tibetan Buddhism), the Riwoche Tibetan Buddhist Temple welcomes individuals who wish to grow spiritually through several means, such as meditation practices, recitation, and teachings. Traditional Tibetan methods have been used to build six impressive Buddha statues that harmoniously fit with the temple, while a Green Tara statue (that symbolizes growth and healing) is also found here.
Riwoche Tibetan Buddhist Temple
Address: 28 Heintzman St, Toronto, ON M6P 2J6, Canada
Website: Riwoche Tibetan Buddhist Temple
Opening hours: Tue: 7.30pm - 8.30pm; Thu: 8pm - 9pm; Sat & Sun: 9am - 10am (closed on Mon, Wed, & Fri)
10. Jing Yin Temple
A number of cultivation sessions and religious practices take place in this Buddhist temple and include bathing ceremonies, yoga practice, fire offerings, and mantra chanting (a sacred utterance with spiritual connotations). Teachings of the Buddha are observed, while if you wish to support the temple’s beliefs, you can make donations through check or a bank account.
Jing Yin Temple
Address: 722 Brimley Rd, Scarborough, ON M1J 1C2, Canada
Website: Jing Yin Temple
Opening hours: 10am - 7pm daily
Focus within to find peace
Visit one of those Buddhist temples in Toronto to take a moment and contemplate on how your life is passing by. Finding peace within is something hard to achieve and requires tremendous practice and mental strength, but a little goes a long way, so if you ever want to try it, pay a visit to any of these temples.
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