Noor Cultural Centre
123 Wynford Drive, Toronto, ON M3C 1K1
7 reviews

Designed by Morijama & Teshima Architects and built in 1963, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre was a signal that the Japanese Canadian community was claiming a place within Canada's cultural mosaic. The building received international attention for the way it combined a modernist sensibility with details and proportions reminiscent of Japanese building traditions. After the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre moved out of the building, Moriyama & Teshima Architects was responsible for transforming the building into The Noor Cultural Centre, an Islamic cultural centre, introducing subtle details that allude to Islamic building traditions. The building of the centre was funded by Toronto's Lakhani family and it now serves as a hub for education and dialogue on Islam and other world faiths. Islamic studies activities at the centre are organized in consultation with York University faculty thanks to a fellowship sponsored by the Lakhani family. The centre is located in Don Mills at 123 Wynford Drive, and is open Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm.  Last updated 4 years ago

Noor Cultural Centre

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  Open to Gays and Lesbians. If your church doesn't accept you, this place will.

Ottawa, ON
★★★★★  Agreed, this is not a Masjid for conservative Muslims. Not the exclude, but if you are uncomfortable with non-segregated spaces, this is not the place with you. The lectures, although very much anchored in Traditional Islamic concepts (I have never once heard the Aga Khan mentioned), do sometimes engage "controversial" topics such as women leading prayer and Gay rights. Most often, they are about mundane topics such as love, faith ect. While for some this is nightmarish, for others (myself included) this inclusiveness is much needed. The Khutbahs are engaging and fascinating and the guest lecturers are often leading academics. The Jummah is side by side, yet, there is a space of about five feet between the men and women, egro, the sexes are not "touching" during Salat. The Washrooms are very clean and well maintained. An added bonus to an already great experience is (outside of Ramadan) Jummah is always followed by a very tasty pot luck lunch!

Toronto, ON
NR  I would like the Muslim community to know that the Founder, President, and Vice President of the Noor Cultural Centre are all dedicated Nizari Ismailis who are led by the Aga Khan (a French secularist and billionaire businessman). A number of arguably un-Islamic practices go on inside the Centre that mainstream Muslims would take issue with, such as men and women physically touching each other and women often not dressing modestly and often not wearing the hijab. In addition, this Centre frequently invites gays, lesbians, and other non-heterosexuals to partake in various activities. In fact, the Centre has become a hub for non-heterosexual individuals as well as a forum for a Feminist understanding of Islam. This center in the past has had a woman serve as the Imam instead of a man, for instance.

Many mainstream Muslims would find this place very unusual and Islamically unacceptable if they went inside it. I feel that traditional Muslims should be alerted to this information. I hope this message will get posted and not filtered like my prior message on this Centre.

NR  This is not a mosque and does not need to be on zabihah. responds: We have left it on because events serving Muslim communities are held here often.

Brampton, ON
★★★  True enough, this mosque is well appointed in terms of amenities (washrooms and wudhu facilites are clean, at least by comparison to other mosques). However, there is more to a mosque than what meets the eye. People do have the right to their own opinions and are ultimately responsible before Allah. I find it somewhat uncomfortable being in a place 'theological free for all' is the rule of the day. In Islam we are supposed to submit ourselves to Allah and the teachings of his last prophet. These teachings are as applicable today as they were over 1400 years ago. To take an Ala Carte approach to Islam, doing what you feel like and tossing the rest away, is not a good way of doing things. It simply isn't submission to Allah. With that said, Allah has given us the ablility to choose and will hold us to account. The best I can say about this mosque is that it is a place to do ones salat when in the area.

Bronxville, NY
NR  Turns out that many of the attendees of this mosque are Indians from South Africa.

Bronxville, NY
★★★★  This has got to be the most controversial mosque in Toronto right now. The mosque has hosted some controversial speakers such as Amina Wadud and women and men pray in the same prayer space at Noor with women praying on one side and men on the other with no barrier in between. Though it should be said that many of their events are not controversial at all. Still not a mosque for Salafis. There were rumors in the community that Noor is an Ismaili masjid - but according to the mosque administration this is not the case. While it is true that some prominent members of the mosque board grew up Ismaili, Noor is trying to be a mosque open to all kinds of Muslims. Architecturally, the mosque is beautiful, it was apparently so when it was the Japanese Cultural Centre and has continued to be so after renovations to make it a mosque. It has a very peaceful, meditative feel architecturally. The congregation is largely S. Asian, well-to-do, and middle aged. The people there are very warm and friendly. Most of the women dress conservatively (long sleeves, long skirts/trousers, etc.) but do not wear hijab full-time. Men are mostly business casual and clean-shaven. Someone almost always greets a newcomer as they enter. People are friendly and will initiate conversation with a new face. One of my friends described the feel for better or for worse as that of a church in these respects. So far, there are few young single people or young married people with children at Noor. I also haven't seen any teenagers. I also would say that it isn't really kid-friendly space. While there is almost always babysitting provided (at a cost) during their events - if someone is on a fixed budget and used to other mosques where it is normal to see children wandering around during prayer or a lecture or to hear them it will not seem very child-friendly. I have not prayed there during jumah or with men present so I cannot comment on how the side by side shared prayer arrangement works. I found that the soothing way in which the prayer space is appointed helped me to focus my salat. Noor is a new mosque so at the moment it seems to be functioning more as a venue for lectures and activities rather than a full-service mosque with classes and services. The mosque is accessible by either the Flemingdon Park or Eglington buses.
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