Spirituality in Richmond, BC
No matter what you believe, you won’t believe how beautiful these places are.
You can really gauge a place’s multiculturalism by its places of worship, and Richmond is no exception. With its diverse population, there are equally diverse places of worship catering to people of all faiths. No. 5 Road in East Richmond has been given the moniker ‘Highway to Heaven’ because of its concentration of places of worship—about 20, often right next to each other.
Ornate temples and mosques yield to modest churches, all coexisting in harmony. And true to Richmond’s multiculturalism, services are delivered in a range of languages including English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, Hindi, and Punjabi.
Gurdwara Nanak Niwas, which is also the India Cultural Centre of Canada, was the very first religious institution built on No. 5 Road, and today hosts a number of cultural events for Richmond’s Sikh community. Up the road from that is the first traditional Tibetan monastery in Canada, Thrangu Monastery. The prayer room boasts a 12-foot-tall gold-leafed Buddha statue flanked by 34 smaller Buddhas and 1,000 Medicine Buddhas. Nearby is the Richmond Jamea Mosque, one of the largest mosques in BC. All visitors are welcome to attend services and experience traditional Islamic architecture.
There’s also the International Buddhist Temple on Steveston Highway, the second-largest Buddhist temple in North America. It will captivate you with golden statues, ornamental fountains, and beautiful gardens. It’s perfect for a quiet escape from the city.
While these are all great places to visit, it’s important to remain respectful of religious customs. For example, at some places of worship, your head must be covered and your shoes must be removed. There is no charge to drop in and visit (many appreciate donations to maintain upkeep), but please make sure to plan ahead by checking times and protocols before coming. Many host events and classes, like meditation class, so make sure to check their websites for times and dates.