Day 7 – CLOSED – Noor Cultural Centre – 123 Wynford Drive, Don Mills – Toronto

On the First Friday of Ramadan 2015,

Day 2 of 2015’s 30 Masjids in 30 Days in Ramadan,

I prayed Jumah inside The Noor Cultural Centre.

As a Jumah-only Prayer location on Fridays,

Noor was always a Destination Masjid,

To employ one of the masjid categorizations I’ve come to understand by blogging about Canadian Masjids and Islamic Centres.

Only two days ago on Day 5,

I wrote about finding Main Street Musalla in Brampton being CLOSED.

And why it’s important for me to blog about finding recently Closed Masjids previously listed as Open for prayers on 30 Masjids

In preparing today’s Day 7 blog post to confirm Livestream details,

I found something missed when previously visiting the Noor homepage:

Noor Cultural Centre is also now CLOSED.

Sort of…

“NOTE: Noor Cultural Centre no longer maintains a physical location

Its 123 Wynford Drive location was sold in October 2021 after 18 months of continuous lockdown for COVID-19.

Since March 2020,

all Noor programming has been virtual,

and is planned to continue thus,


Noor Cultural Centre is now Physically Closed.

Noor Cultural Centre remains Virtually OPEN.

And one such virtual program will be this evening’s pre-Iftar Interfaith event to be livestreamed from Temple Kol Ami in Thornhill, Ontario.

On Tuesday in Brampton,

was I surprised to find the Main Street Musalla, a small corner bookend in a strip mall of store fronts, CLOSED because of the Pandemic?


Am I surprised to find that Noor had closed because of the Pandemic.


Their stand alone building at 123 Wynford Drive in Toronto was originally the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.

Noor employed the building’s original architect, Raymond Moriyama, to oversee a $3 million renovation before opening its doors 20 years ago in 2003.

Elsa Lam wrote in Canadian Architect on Thursday February 6 2020:

“By the turn of the century, the Japanese community had outgrown the centre, and moved down the street.

“Moriyama’s building was sold to a Muslim community group, who have now re-established it as the Noor Cultural Centre.

“The building has been carefully restored and maintained, with a few modifications for its new use—Moriyama & Teshima Architects helped convert the judo changerooms into ablution rooms,

“a prayer hall occupies a former activity space,

“and Arabic calligraphy has been discreetly installed in the wood screens and at the door handles.

“On a recent visit, Raymond Moriyama noted with pleasure that the new owners had kept the screwheads on the centre’s built-in benches aligned vertically, the way they had been originally installed.

“We actually lost some of those screws, but we found a supplier—it took us about a year—and bought a ton of them,” noted Karim Lakhani, whose father, Hassanali Lakhani, headed the purchase of the building.

“The original terrazzo floors are still in place, and the wooden auditorium floor has been refinished so many times that Karim isn’t sure it can handle being sanded again.

“123 Wynford Drive is in good hands.”

Or it was.

Last month, Shawn Micallef writing in The Toronto Star on Friday February 10 2023:

“The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre was one of Moriyama’s early, major designs, completed in 1963,

“but it is a masterpiece and still in immaculate condition on Wynford Drive by the Don Valley Parkway.

“The trouble is a residential tower is planned for the site that will preserve only some elements of the building.

“The case for the building’s ability to serve other purposes has already been proven.

“In 2003, Moriyama & Teshima was hired to update it for the Islamic Noor Cultural Centre, which made it its home until 2021, when they sold the building.”

Tariq‘s comment on Shawn’s article:

“The repurposing of the building for Noor Cultural Centre was everything that made this city great.

“The JCCC moved to its present location across the DVP and a Muslim organization respectively repurposed it using the original architects.

“I had my wedding ceremony there (in its incarnation as Noor Cultural Centre) and it was a great place to go for Eid prayers.

“I understand the reasoning behind selling the building but tearing it down for more condos without making a real effort to maintain the current building is everything that makes this city soulless now.”

Not only will this architectural legacy of 20 years as an Islamic Cultural Centre be CLOSED;

The building itself might soon be GONE.

Noor‘s Community and Jumah Congregation are not gone,

They reshaped.

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