News Release
July 21, 2017

Mayor John Tory will present His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj with the Key to the City of Toronto tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. at an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple, located at 61 Claireville Dr.  
His Holiness is the sixth spiritual guru of Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a worldwide spiritual and humanitarian organization that is dedicated to community service, peace and harmony through Hindu principles.
“I am honoured to recognize his Holiness’ global and Toronto-based humanitarian, charitable, and community-building efforts through BAPS Charities Canada,” said Mayor Tory. “His Holiness’ great contributions have enriched Toronto and there is no better setting to bestow this honour than the BAPS Mandir, a unique and majestic white marble temple and an architectural masterpiece that adds to the multicultural mosaic of the city.”
Since 2001, BAPS Charities Canada has served Toronto communities by hosting walkathons, youth seminars, health awareness initiatives, disaster relief operations, blood donation and bone marrow registry drives, environmental lectures, and other charitable activities. In February, BAPS donated $100,000 to Toronto’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
His Holiness has travelled around the world to advance BAPS’ organizational efforts, spiritual activities and youth programs. He is currently travelling through North America.  
This is the fourth time Mayor Tory will present a key to the City since taking office in December 2014. Previous recipients during this term have included Paul Beeston, Aubrey (Drake) Graham and the members of Rush, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart.
The Mayor awards the key to inspiring individuals from diverse backgrounds who embody the spirit and potential of our city and have significantly contributed to civic life. Past spiritual recipients include His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. More information is available at
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Keerthana Kamalavasan
Office of the Mayor