5 Famous Mosques in Canada

Many of us invest a considerable amount of our daily lives within the sacred walls of mosques. As we become regular visitors to a particular mosque, we gradually immerse ourselves in its unique character and the warm embrace of its community. Here, we present a curated list of a few beloved mosques cherished by their devotees.

1. The Al-Rashid Mosque of Canada – Edmonton, Alberta

The Al-Rashid Mosque was expected to be one of the first Mosques in North America. This great mosque was constructed in Edmonton Alberta. The Mosque is a mosaic of determination, resilience, cooperation, and collaboration of Muslims and non-Muslims, This masterpiece of elegance was built in 1938.

It was constructed just after the Mother Mosque of America in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and several years after the 1929 mosque was built in Ross, North Dakota. At that time, Canada was a home to roughly 700 Muslims.

Hilwie Hamdon, a revolutionary woman, approached Edmonton’s Mayor John Fry to secure land for the construction of a mosque. She, along with friends, succeeded in collecting funds from Jews, Christians, and Muslims to construct the mosque.

The Al-Rashid Mosque was constructed masterfully by a Ukrainian-Canadian contractor named Mike Dreowth. Its architectural style resembles Eastern Christian immigrant churches of the Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox traditions. The Mosque was officially opened on December 12, 1938. It welcomes all who sought solace within its walls. However, in the 1940s the building of the mosque was migrated from its original site to a place a few blocks away to make room for school expansion.

The city in which the mosque was located was considering demolition of the site for hospital expansion. But in 1991, the mosque was destined to embark on a grand location of Fort Edmonton Park. Just about a year later on May 28, 1992, the symbol of elegance and purity was reopened in the park.

Muhammad Abdul Aleem Siddiqi was the one who played a pivotal role in shaping the mosque’s development.

2. Masjid An-Noor – Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Image: Wikipedia.org

Masjid An-Noor is the very first and currently only mosque in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador Canada. It was constructed in 1990 by the Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (MANAL). MANAL is an association that aims to set up a Muslim community that holds fast to the values of Islam and is committed to the welfare of its members.

The mosque is located in the Provisional Capital of St. John’s and is the only mosque in the province. Today, the mosque welcomes over 600 families and around 500 students from Memorial University of Newfoundland. The number of its visitors is still rising day by day. The mosque is the heart of all Muslim activities in the city.

3. The Midnight Sun Mosque – Inuvik, Canada

Image: Wikipedia.org

The non-sectarian mosque, Midnight Sun Mosque located in Inuvik, Northwest Territories Canada. This Mosque is also known as Inuvik Mosque or Little Mosque of Tundra affectionately. It is the Northmost mosque in the Western Hemisphere. It was constructed for a small community of Muslims in town in 2010. It is the only mosque in North America above the Arctic Circle.

In the late 2000s, the Muslim community of Inuvik surpassed their small truck-trailer worship center. They had purchased land to build a mosque but the costs of construction were too high. A generous Winnipeg-based Islamic charity funded a prefabricated mosque that was bought by a truck to Hay River narrowly avoiding a creek mishap twice. From the river, it floated on a Yacht across Great Slave Lake down the Mackenzie River to Inuvik to reach its permanent location on the northern edge of the town.

After a challenging one-month journey, the mosque arrived in Inuvik. It took another month and a half to build the mosque. On November 10, 2010, the mosque opened, and more people came than expected. Its visitors included both Muslims and non-Muslims, making the opening day a special day.

The mosque in Inuvik follows Sunni traditions for religious practices, and everyone is welcome. They’ve made adjustments for the Arctic’s unique conditions. During some years, Ramadan falls in the middle of the “midnight sun” or “polar night.” Since fasting between sunrise and sunset is not possible, they follow Mecca’s times but adjust to their local time. This means they break their fast while the sun is still up during the “midnight sun” period.

This Mosque is open to everyone, regardless of their faith, and it helps hundreds of families in the area.

4. The Salaheddin Islamic Center – Toronto, Scarborough Canada

Image: Salaheddin.org

The Salaheddin Islamic Centre is located in Toronto, Canada’s Scarborough district. It has gone through an incredible transformation since Imam Aly Hindy took over in 1997. It started as a small mosque and has now become a vibrant community center. Beyond regular prayers and lectures, it offers services like a school, marriage counseling, and a food bank. It also offers youth programs, and more to help and improve the lives of people in need.

5. Jami’ Mosque – Toronto, Canada

Jami Mosque, nestled east of High Park in Toronto, is not only the city’s oldest Islamic center but also considered the “mother of all mosques in Toronto.” Originally it was a Presbyterian church built in 1930. It was transformed into the city’s first Islamic place of worship by Toronto’s Bosniak and Albanian Muslim community in 1969.

In 1961, Jami’s congregation started in a leather shop near Dundas West and Keele. The mosque we see today was built in 1930 as the High Park Presbyterian Church by John Francis Brown & Son. Thanks to funds from King Faisal of Saudi Arabia in 1969, the Muslim Society of Toronto transformed it into Toronto’s first permanent mosque.

Initially, Jami had many Tablighi Jamaat followers, but their numbers dropped due to an influx of Gujarati Muslim immigrants. They eventually leased a hall in eastern Toronto and, in 1981, purchased a building that became the Madina Mosque, the new center for Tablighi Jamaat. Jami’s leadership shifted toward the Muslim Students Association.

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