Night 13 – Isha – Taraweeh – Bosnian Islamic Centre – Bosanski Islamski Centar – 75 Birmingham Street – Etobicoke, Ontario

Night 13 of Ramadan 2022 brings us, or rather returns us, to the Bosnian Islamic Centre, located at 75 Birmingham Street in South Etobicoke, Toronto.

Last time I was here, I had to stand outside in front of the masjid, as it was closed due to the pandemic lockdown.

That visit was on Day 29 of Ramadan 2021.

Growing up in Etobicoke and Toronto, this was one of my childhood masjids and remained one of my go-to masjids through my teenage years.

There was little choice, we didn’t have that many masjids.

If I was doing 30 Masjids in 30 Days in the 1980s or 1990s, I might have had to stop midway through Ramadan because I would have visited all of Toronto’s Masjids inside of two weeks!

Ever since there was a 30 Masjids in 30 Days of Ramadan project, I have been visiting this masjid at least once every Ramadan.

The only exceptions being when I was travelling from Newfoundland to Victoria Island, visiting 30 Masjids in 30 Days in Canada, then doing 30 Masjids in 30 Days around Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland in Ramadans 2017 & 2018.

Oh right, why is there no visit to BIC during Ramadan 2013 ?

That year I was doing 30 Masjids in 30 Days around Ontario !

And also no visit during the Lockdown Ramadan of 2020.

So tonight, we exit the exceptions and return to the rule of praying inside the Bosnian Islamic Centre at least once per Ramadan.


Afterwards at home, I began reflecting on the Bosnian Islamic Centre.

Yes, it is a Neighbourhood masjid.

It is also a Destination masjid, at least it became a destination for my brother Amir & I tonight.

Thinking about when this masjid was built, I realized for the first time, that the Bosnian Islamic Centre, which was previously known as the Croatian Islamic Centre, was the FIRST Intentionally Designed-and-Built Masjid in Etobicoke and within the Toronto Metropolitan Area.

So this is also an Historic Masjid.

It was the First Purpose-Built Masjid anywhere in what is today’s Toronto.

The Islamic Foundation in Scarborough, whose kunia or nickname is Nugget Mosque, would be the second.

Reflecting some more, I realize the Bosnian Islamic Centre is also a Heritage Masjid.

  • Etobicoke and Metro Toronto’s First Masjid built from the ground up.
  • The oldest Bosnian masjid anywhere in Canada
  • Toronto’s first and oldest masjid with a minaret; Ottoman architecture designed minaret
  • Nedžad ef. Hafizovic, since 1989 has been BIC’s resident Imam, making him one of few Imams in Canada with such a long tenure serving the same masjid and same congregation.

That “B” in BIC could also be doing do double duty, standing in for the word Barakah, as much as it does for the word Bosnian.

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