In 1996, the Aga Khan bought the property 77 Wynford Drive from Shell Corporation. In 2002, he bought the adjacent property, which was the formerly the Bata Shoes Head Office. On October 8, 2002, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) announced the establishment of the Aga Khan Museum, Ismaili Centre and Park on the site. Although heritage groups wanted it preserved, the modernist Bata Shoes building was demolished in 2007 to make way for the project. The foundation-laying ceremony for the project was performed by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Aga Khan on May 28, 2010.
The museum was designed by Pritzker Prize winner Fumihiko Maki. The 10,000 square-metre structure is set within formal gardens and surrounded by a large park (Aga Khan Park) designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic. The extensive site is shared with a new Ismaili Centre designed by the Indian architect Charles Correa.Maki, Djurovic and Correa worked in collaboration with the Toronto-based architectural firm Moriyama and Teshima, who worked as the architect of record on the project.