The Ontario Khalsa Darbar is a distinguished Sikh Gurdwara or place of worship in Mississauga, Ontario. One of Canada’s largest Sikh Gurdwaras, it plays host to tens of thousands of worshippers during major Sikh religious festivals.
A "Gurudwara," which literally means "doorway to the Guru," is a place of worship for the Sikhs and may also be called a "Sikh Temple."
It started officially in the year 1978 in a small trailer. In a gradual manner, as more and more money was raised and land was bought, an edifice was created in 1988. Its new location was in 7080 Dixie Road, Mississauga in Ontario. The grand opening ceremony in the year 1989 drew a crowd of more than 10,000 devotees.
During the 90s, additional land was purchased, and an outdoor stadium was created. Hardial Dhir Architect was selected to eventually reconstruct and successfully design the community centre and make further additions to the Gurdwara.
This Gurdwara is the primary Gurdwara located in Greater Toronto Area. In the mid to late 90s, the old edifice was getting overcrowded; therefore, a $6 million project was conceptualised to build a larger extension. A lot of money was raised; however, the place of worship still plays host to massive crowds during special days such as “Bandhi Chhor” which signifies “release from confinement” celebrated on the same day as Diwali according to the Nanakshahi calendar, Vaisakhi, and 31st December, during New Year’s Eve.
In the year 2001, the Nagar Kirtan, which grandly celebrates Vaisakhi, witnessed a crowd of more than 100,000 individuals. In the year 2003, the Bandhi Chhor celebrations welcomed a crowd of more than 40,000 devotees. This is precisely when the Gurdwara surged in popularity. It exudes an atmosphere and aura just like a major Gurdwara in India.
In the year 2004, a new plan was announced to create a $3 million parking area. This parking area would be eventually filled with several historical paintings and comprehensive information boards.
The Gurdwara was the subject of controversies, such as the donation in the year 1990 to the African National Congress, a major dispute regarding performance of Sikh marriages in a hotel that serves meat and alcohol, and when a Sikh priest resided at the temple, ultimately defying a deportation order.