The low-slung, white-granite Aga Khan Museum in north-east Toronto shimmers through the autumn leaves. On first view the newly opened 17-acre site seems like an image out of a desert dream. It has a garden with five reflecting pools, as well as a dramatic, glass-domed prayer hall and a community centre for local Shia Ismaili Muslims. (The Aga Khan is spiritual leader and adviser to the world’s 20m Ismailis.) This 21st-century evocation of the Muslim East — an unexpected sight in a city that gets covered in snow for months each year — makes a fantastical introduction to a museum of Islamic arts.