A new Sikh temple is being planned for northeast Calgary to provide more space for worship, events and community projects.
The new temple, or gurdwara, is being built by the Dashmesh Culture Centre and will be located 6.5 kilometres north of its existing centre in Martindale.
The second temple will be situated just west of the community of Skyview Ranch at 36th Street and 124th Avenue N.E., as part of a business park development.
It's being built to accommodate growing numbers of Sikhs who live and work in the northeast quadrant, as well as neighbouring communities in the northwest.
"We get packed here for our Sikh events, our main events," said Amanpreet Singh Gill, president of the Dashmesh Culture Centre.
The centre estimates up to 70,000 Sikhs now call Calgary home.
"We have a lot of immigrants moving from other cities, from Ontario, B.C., and also we have international students moving to Calgary and most of them move to the northeast," said Gill.
The site covers 3.9 hecares (9.68 acres) and will include a langar hall — a busy community kitchen based on one of the main traditions of Sikhism — along with a food bank and areas to support mental health and social projects.
"It's close to Cornerstone, Skyview, Redstone and those areas. It can also serve Airdrie and northwest communities like Panorama Hills," said Gill.
Gill says the temple will include traditional Sikh architectural features and adds they're searching internationally for companies that specialize in temple construction and features.
"It's a big challenge but our team is working throughout Canada and the U.S. to find someone who can design and build it the way we want it," he said.
Gill says the new temple will be funded by the city's Sikh community but notes many of the social and health programs his centre offers are for all Calgarians, not just Sikhs. There is no cost estimate yet for the project.
Construction is due to start in 2024, and it's expected to be completed by 2026.