Edmonton's newest mosque officially opened in the Lessard neighbourhood Thursday despite protests from community members.
The local chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada converted the old Lessard shopping mall into an Islamic centre, with hopes of one day expanding the space into a school for Muslim students.
Some members of the west end community, however, had been circulating a petition to stop them.
Residents say the centre at 172nd Street and Callingwood Road will bring traffic and noise problems.
Issam Saleh of the Muslim Association said he would be happy to talk to anyone in the community about the project and give them a tour of the newly-renovated building.
"We want to be part of all the social fabric of the society that we're living around and we want to impact the society that we're living in a positive way," Saleh told CBC News.
David Mulder, who lives in a duplex just behind the mosque, said it is a shame more people in his community didn't come out to celebrate the opening on Canada Day.
"I think there should be more people here who are non-Muslim," Mulder said. "If they want to find out what's going on, come out here, meet the people. You know, the way to find out [about things] is to meet the people."