Work begins on huge Buddhist development in Canada
Assembly work on the Wutai Shan Buddhist Gardens replica of the main Dharma Hall of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) has begun and when completed, the project will become the centerpiece of the largest Buddhist complex outside of China.
The Buddhist Association of Canada is building the Wutai Shan Buddhist Gardens in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, using lumber milled in China. Peterborough is located about 78 miles northeast of Toronto.
The association first initiated the plan in 2003 to replicate the four most sacred Buddhist Mountains in China, Wutai Mountain, Putuo Mountain, Emei Mountain and Jiuhua Mountain. It began with Wutai Mountain with a total investment of $32 million.
It took three years for the association to review construction companies that specialize in ancient replication before selecting the Ningbo Jinluban Carpentry Co of China, which has done similar work in the past.
The project will preserve the all- timberwork Tang Dynasty style and no bricks or nails will be used, according to Guo Yongyao, chairman of the construction company. Timber pillars are secured to pass the weight down to the foundation base. According to architectural observers, this construction method can help a building resist an 8-magnitude earthquake — meaning an earthquake that could destroy an entire community.
Main parts of the project are estimated to consume about 2,800 cubic meters of rosewood, 200 cubic meters of camphorwood and 300 cubic meters of cedar, all painted with 5 tons of natural raw lacquer for corrosion prevention, crack control and moth proofing, according to the association.
By April, the construction of the wooden pieces for the gardens was finished in the company’s factory in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, after seven years of work and then shipped to Toronto. It will take more than 10 workers and another five years to assemble them, according to Guo.
“Once the work completes, we can appreciate in Canada the architectural accent of unique timber construction which prevailed in the Tang Dynasty a thousand years ago,” said Shi Dayi, president of the Buddhist Association of Canada.
The original temples in Wutai MountaininChinarepresentChina’s best preserved Tang Dynastystyle timber construction.
“We should be proud to show the world how magnificent our culture is. The Canadian temple project is one channel to export our Buddhism culture, architectural culture and carpentry skills,” said Guo, who believes that the beauty of traditional Chinese art should be shared around the world. Contact the writers at yanyiqi@ chinadaily.com.cn and firstname.lastname@example.org