Kitchener Masjid receives $197,000 in federal funds

The Kitchener Masjid had a ground breaking ceremony Sunday to transform a warehouse-like space into a welcoming place of prayer.

Money will be used to upgrade mosque from warehouse-like space

The Kitchener Masjid received federal funding on the weekend for renovations to its facility on Victoria Street North. (Google StreetView)

The Kitchener Masjid has received federal funding under the community infrastructure program celebrating Canada's 150th birthday.

The $197,585 was announced Sunday by Kitchener Centre MP Raj Saini.

The funding will go towards renovation of the mosque, which is currently in a warehouse-like building on Victoria Street. This will help make it more recognizable and functional as a place for prayer.

It will also help create a new youth centre in the space.

The first step will be upgrades to the gym – which has served for the past six months as a donation holding area for arriving Syrian refugees. Construction will replace the gym's roof, floors and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) and will begin later this week.

Officials at the Masjid said they still need to raise $560,000 to complete phase one of their renovations to the space.

Fadhwa Yusuf sorts through boxes of donated clothing to Syrian refugees in the gym of the Kitchener Masjid mosque earlier this year. (Jackie Sharkey/CBC)