Canada's largest mosque completes

Niki May Young
Thursday 14 Aug 2008

Canada is celebrating the addition of its largest mosque built in Calgary

Calgary in Canada is now the home of one of North America’s largest mosques, declared by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as an “architectural treasure”.

Baitun Nur mosque features a huge steel dome and a 97 foot steel-capped minaret. Its exterior is inscribed with the 99 names of Allah in Arabic.

The mosque is the largest in Canada and covers more than 4,300 sq m. It contains prayer halls for men and women, as well as a multipurpose hall, library, bookstall, TV studio, classrooms, offices and a children’s play area.

The 1,500-capacity main hall contains an ornate 400-kilogram chandelier which cost $50,000.

Much of the $15m total construction cost was raised by donations from the city’s Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

Ahmadiyya is a sect of Islam that was founded in India in 1889. Calgary contains between 2,000 and 3,000 Ahmadiyya Muslims.

It is the seventh Ahmadiyya mosque to be designed by Naseer Ahmad, whose work includes a Toronto mosque that was completed in 1992.

Ahmad was assisted by local architects Manu Chugh Architects and EllisDon, one of the largest construction companies in Canada.

Speaking at the opening of the mosque on July 5, Prime Minister Harper said: “In this mosque, we see the love and benevolent faith of Islam. Ahmadis embrace Canada and Canada has embraced you.”

Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier said: “Your mosque is a proud new landmark on Calgary’s skyline.”

Oliver Ephgrave

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