Bahá’í Community of Toronto

In neighbourhoods across Toronto, Bahá’ís and their friends are striving to build a community that weaves together both the material and spiritual necessities of life. Their efforts are inspired by Bahá’u’lláh, whose teachings assert that, regardless of race, gender, class or creed, all humans are noble beings and have been created to contribute to the progress of society. “Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch,” Bahá’u’lláh says. “Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship.” Bahá’ís in Toronto are striving to make this vision a reality in a number of ways.

Bahá’í central figures

Who is Bahá’u’lláh?

Bahá’u’lláh was born in 1817 into an aristocratic family in Persia. Early in His life, He rejected the fortunes that awaited Him, stating, “I have never aspired after worldly leadership. My sole purpose hath been to hand down unto men that which I was bidden to deliver by God…”

In 1863, He declared that He had a new, divinely inspired message, one that would lay the foundation of prosperity for mankind. This foundation was gradually expressed in thousands of His verses, letters and books, all of which provide a framework for the development of a global civilization that accounts for both the spiritual and material dimensions of human life.

The gardens of Bahji at night, where the resting place of Baha'u'llah is locatedThe front of the Shrine of Baha'u'llah, the Founder of the Baha'i FaithThe exterior of the room where Baha'u'llah's remains are interred
Administration

The Spiritual Assembly of Toronto

Every religious community needs a source it can turn to for guidance and encouragement. In Toronto, Bahá’ís turn to their Spiritual Assembly, a nine-member body that is elected by the community every year. This administrative institution guides the community in its development and is elected every year in late April. 2018 marks the 80th anniversary of the formation of the Spiritual Assembly of Toronto.

Community-building

Serving the next generation

Tending to the spiritual education of children and young teenagers is an especial preoccupation of Toronto Bahá’ís and their peers, and has been for some time.

One segment of a four-part documentary film captures this process of community-building in a few neighbourhoods in Toronto, showing how classes for the spiritual education of children and young teenagers have taken shape.

Children and youth

Integration of newcomer youth in society

The period of youth is a critical time in the life of an individual, during which one is undergoing tremendous change and taking on more responsibility. Many youth in Canada experience this stage of life as newcomers to this country. Young newcomers, in addition to the challenges faced by other youth, have the added task of learning the ways of a new country and culture. Individual Canadians, communities and social institutions have responsibilities to support the efforts of these youth to integrate into and participate in Canadian society.