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The Gyalwa Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje´s main centre in Canada, the Karma Kagyu Centre of Toronto (now Karma Sonam Dargye Ling) was established in 1976 to provide access to the teachings and practice of Buddhism in the Tibetan tradition. During a 1980 visit to Toronto, His Holiness the 16th Karmapa installed Choje Lama Namse Rinpoche as his personal representative in Canada and Resident Teacher at the Karma Kagyu Centre. After Lama Namse Rinpoche’s passing in 2009, at his recommendation, Lama Tenzin was appointed by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa as the new Resident Lama of Karma Sonam Dargye Ling.

Karma Sonam Dargye Ling has grown in the last forty years and relocated several times. In 2012 we bought a property and moved to the Tibetan Community of Parkdale, with plans to build a traditional Tibetan temple and a Canadian home for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa.


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The proposed Karma Sonam Dargye Ling will provide a centre for the study and practice of Buddhism for the Toronto community with a weekly program of meditation classes and pujas. We will continue to host such teachers of international reknown as Mingyur Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, H.H. The Sakya Trizin and Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche. The new KSDL will also continue to provide a place for Tibetans-in-Exile to carry on such ancient traditions as kora, lamp offerings and bardo pujas for the deceased.

The plans for the new temple include a large shrine room, library, office and bookstore on the main floor. There will be rooms for lamas and monks, a kitchen and a private suite for HH The Karmapa on the upper levels. The lower level will have a large kitchen and a dining room/hall with a stage suitable for community services, celebrations, Tibetan yoga and dance classes, etc. We will continue to offer Tibetan Language Classes for both Westerners and Tibetan children and also classes of traditional Tibetan thangkha painting. Along with carrying on the spiritual activity of a traditional Tibetan gompa, we have a wish and a commitment to contribute to the preservation of the rich culture and traditions of Tibet for both Westerners and the growing Tibetan-in-exile community.

The new temple will be fully accessible for physically disabled persons. Using energy efficient design principles and low impact building materials, the temple will maximize the use of passive solar radiation, daylight lighting and geothermal energy to lower operating and maintenance costs.

Lama Tenzin has consulted with H.H. The Karmapa, who has given our project his blessing. We have also received letters of support from Thrangu Rinpoche and Ponlop Rinpoche (see below).

Our members and attendees are many but we cannot accomplish this activity without asking for assistance in funding this project, which will be of great benefit to many people. Please join us,if you can, in building a new tomorrow for Tibetan Buddhism in Canada – a home for HH The Karmapa and a place where Canadians of all backgrounds can gather to learn and practice the dharma. If you think you can help us, please let us know by email, telephone or come and see us in person. May you receive great blessings as a reward for your generosity.

Thank you and tashi delek,

KSDL Board of Directors




These are a few of the letters written from 1978 to 1981 by HH the 16th Karmapa to Lama Namse Rinpoche. It was The 16th Karmapa’s vision to have a centre in Canada where Karma Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism could take root and flourish, and he chose and entrusted Lama Namse with the mission of founding the temple. HH the 16th Karmapa communicated with Lama Namse Rinpoche every few months to follow the progress of this important project.
In order for younger generations to study Buddhism and for elderly people to practice, it is necessary to have a dharma centre where dharma activity can naturally flourish. Without a temple, dharma activity would not last long, therefore creating a temple is extremely important. For this reason, Karma Sonam Dargye Ling in Toronto, Canada is undertaking the creation of a new temple in Toronto. This will provide a wonderful facility for study, practice, and circumambulation for many people. I would like to request to those of you that can to make contributions to this project, which will result in the accumulation of great merit.
Thrangu Rinpoche