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Toronto’s first mosque opens in 1969

The Story

Where once worshippers sat on pews, they now kneel on a new carpet oriented to Mecca. In 1969, Toronto's estimated 5,000 Muslims have a place to worship in the city's first mosque, built in a renovated Presbyterian church. CBC-TV's The Day It Is visits the Jami Mosque on opening day to observe the prayer service and speak to imam Mirza Qadeer Baig about how it came together.      

Medium: Television
Program: The Day It Is
Broadcast Date: Feb. 27, 1969
Hosts: Barbara Frum, Warren Davis
Guests: Mirza Qadeer Baig, Seitali (Babe) Kerim
Duration: 6:35

Did You know?

• Prior to the opening of the Jami Mosque, its founders and many more among Toronto's Muslims gathered at an Islamic centre not far away. (Some sources credit this centre as the city's first mosque.) According to the Jami Mosque's website, there was a power struggle among the leadership in the early 1970s and it closed temporarily until a new ownership structure was set up.

• Edmonton is credited with being the site of the first mosque in Canada. Its Al-Rashid Mosque opened in 1938.  



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