When the Aga, spiritual leader of Shiite Ismaili Muslims, was looking for a place to build a museum dedicated to Islamic arts and objects, he was enamored by Toronto’s pluralism. In a letter the Aga Khan penned in 2008, he said that the impetus behind the museum was “to bridge the growing divide of misunderstanding between East and West.” In Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki’s stunning building, you’ll find gorgeously lit galleries—the modernist structure was designed to pull in as much natural light as possible—with exhibits that showcase over 1,000 objects from the Aga Khan’s personal collection. The ever-changing displays (only 300 items are taken out at a time), span from artifacts from the 8th century to contemporary art being produced in Pakistan today. There’s nowhere near the isolated museum to grab lunch; however, the on-site restaurant Diwan has excellent Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian offerings meant to showcase the flavors of the Islamic nations.