30 MORE | Guest Blog Post – VIDEO: “The History of Canadian Muslims in Toronto Jane’s Walk” – Sunday May 5 2024″ — By Jen Hodge


 
Guest Blog Post By Jen Hodge

This is a masjid inside the Albanian Muslim society on Annette Street in Toronto.

It was part of a Jane’s Walk on the History of Muslims in Canada – led by volunteer HiMY SYeD who shared his deep insights about roots of Muslim community in Toronto and the need to combat Islamophobia and other forms of racism.

In front of the Albanian Muslim Society is the ONLY Muslim heritage plaque in Toronto – which is dedicated to the memory of Regep Assim.

He was a founder of first Islamic Centre and masjid on 3047 Dundas Street West; a humble storefront.

It was created in the memory of Sami Kerim.

The Kerim brothers owned series of nightclubs in the mid 20th century and as well-respected as their cousin Regep Assim.

The 60-odd Muslims in Toronto at that time were mostly Albanian or Bosnian.

Every Muslim was welcome and there was a good fellowship.

The tour included a stop at the city’s oldest synagogue,

And several plaques around the Junction.

By 1969 there was a flood of immigrants-about 5000 Muslims and they needed a bigger space.

A Presbyterian church in high park was purchased and converted.

Known as the Jami mosque.

Simple conversion, some small embellishments.

Jami is noted on a local sign.

There are now 120 mosques in Toronto and about 424,000 Muslims.

Many groups have splintered off due to varied practices and politics.

We were also shown the location of the first spice store and halal meat shops in Toronto – important additions to the culture of the city.

Understanding and acceptance of different cultures and beliefs is what makes Toronto a great place and Jane’s Walks let you discover more about your community!

“Cities have the capability of providing Something for Everybody,

Only because,

And only when,

They are created by Everybody.”

— Jane Jacobs

* * *

Jen,

Thank you for joining my Jane’s Walk,

Walking and staying all the way til the very very very very end and our final walk stop.

I am beyond Grateful for your Kind and Generous Acknowledgement.

Thank you,

HiMY SYeD

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