From humble beginnings in the mid-sixties when the Parsi Zoroastrians first immigrated to Canada from India, today the Zoroastrian Society of Ontario (ZSO) is the largest association of Zoroastrians outside of India and Iran. As the numbers began to grow, the ZSO was founded in 1971 and registered as a not for profit religious organization.
The Province of Ontario, Canada's most populous province is the engine and power house of Canada. Here thousands of Zoroastrians call it home, from India and Pakistan where they are referred to as Parsees primarily Gujarati speaking and from Iran, Farsi speaking. In Ontario many cultures and ethnic groups have come to live together in harmony and peace and in a sea of harmonious cultural change.
We Zoroastrians also referred to as Zarathushtis, are survivors of what is an almost 4,000 year old religion are practising the religion of Asho-Zarathushtra in this multicultural environment.
From holding meetings and activities in rental locations in the early years the need grew to have a central place to carry out our religious, educational, social, sports and recreational activities.
The dream for a centre became a reality through the philanthropy of Arbab Rustom Guiv, a prominent Zoroastrian of Iran. With his vision for Zoroastrians to meet and practice their religion in a central place, and his extremely generous cash donation, our current location at 3590 Bayview Avenue was acquired and improvements completed to include a large assembly hall.
The centre known as the Mehraban Guiv Darbe Mehr is named after Arbab Guiv's nephew. The property is owned by a Trust known as the Rustom Guiv Foundation of Ontario (RGFO) and is leased in perpetuity to the ZSO at a nominal sum. It has served as the centre of the ZSO's activities since 1980.
Various activities and events are held at the Darbe Mehr on an ongoing basis. They include regular Jashans during holy days, Gambhars, Muktad for the Fasli and Shenshai calendars.
In addition, ZSO has been running a well-organized and articulate religious education program for the young children. We have sponsored the first Zoroastrian Scouts Group in North America the “100 Toronto scouts group”. We also have a vibrant seniors program and the Cultural Kanoun for our Farsi speaking members. A monthly Newsletter is published to keep the members informed of upcoming events, feedback from past to name a few. We have a well booked library, lecture group, an active youth group, and committees to help newly landed immigrants and those who need moral or financial assistance. We have many priests (Mobeds) who live in Toronto.
The ZSO is managed on a day to day basis by a Board comprising of 9 elected individuals known as the Executive Committee.
Our community in this province is growing in numbers. We are extremely happy and excited to find your presence on this site. We hope that you have a rich and meaningful experience.