Officials with World Islamic Mission (WIM) Canada say their planned Islamic Centre will be big — and will dramatically change the landscape of one of the eastern gateways to Oakville.
They believe what they’re about to build on Ninth Line south of Dundas Street West will also be an “architect landmark” and a “state-of-the art” project for the town.
“We are building a landmark project, a majestic project that all of us in Oakville will be proud of,” said Mohamed Farouk, who heads the construction team for the new Masjid Noor-UL-Haram.
“Not only Muslims, but all people, will look at this architecturally-beautiful building and say, ‘Wow.’ It will add to and enhance the landscape of Oakville.”
Confident the Town of Oakville will issue their long-awaited building permits within the next several months, officials are hopeful construction will begin in 2014, once the initial funding of $2 million is raised from their worshippers for the project that could top $15 million by the time all phases are complete.
Eventually, the three-storey centre, which includes a 21-metre high mosque dome, four minaret towers rising 30 metres (100 feet), two full-size gymnasiums, dressing rooms and meeting rooms, will rise on the 11 acres of land bought for $780,000 in 1998 on the west side of Ninth Line, just north of the current 5 Drive-In. It will replace the 3,200-sq.-ft. bungalow currently used by worshippers.
There will be parking for 358 cars, 255 on the surface and 103 covered spots.
Once all phases are completed, the centre will have 5,700 square metres of floor space, making it Ontario’s largest Islamic centre, one that will have more floor space than the White House, which has 5,100 square metres of floor space.
“We are not only building a mosque. We are building a community centre,” Farouk said. “There will be a pathway for joggers right around the project that will be available to everybody in the community.
“We are adding to the mosaic of Canada.”
Some residents living in Joshua Creek have expressed surprise that such a massive structure will be built in their community. Other than a home for sale immediately adjacent to the property there are no homes anywhere near the planned centre. The closest community is located in the distance, across from the Sixteen Mile Creek ravine where the centre will be visible from their backyards.
Farouk said WIM Canada could have built a smaller project.
“But our intent has always been to build a project, a maximum size project that we could build on this land,” Farouk said. “If somebody had built this 20 years ago, the costs would have been 50 per cent less. But we’re building this for generations to come. We have undertaken the responsibility to build this as big as we can now so that future generations don’t have to build it at a much higher cost.
“This is an Islamic Centre, but it’s not restricted to just the Muslim community. It’s for the community at-large.”
The location was chosen because of a rapidly increasing Muslim population in Oakville/Mississauga. Proximity to Hwy. 403 means it’s accessible to Muslims living in the western part of Greater Toronto as well as Brampton and Burlington.
“At the end of the day, we are building a majestic project. Just visualize what you will see when you get off Hwy. 403 and drive towards Oakville,” Ruhomaun said. “It will be an inviting structure to the town of Oakville. Everybody will benefit from this.”
All that’s needed are Canadian cops in hijabs guarding the joint.