After being inactive for three years, the former St. Margaret Mary Church will open soon to welcome worshippers, serving as a mosque.
Imam Syed Soharwardy made the announcement that the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada would purchase the closed building in November 2022.
The group owns 32 mosques across the country, two of which are former churches.
Though a part of the building would serve as a mosque, most of the land would serve as a multi-faith cultural center to welcome senior citizens, a music and arts group, and a Montessori school for children, La Croix reported.
“I [want to show] respect because this has been a church for over a century and people are emotionally, spiritually connected with this church,” he told CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning.
“I’m 100 per cent sure when this [sale] is closed in March, it will be a big nice model for the entire society of Canada and maybe for the world,” Soharwardy said.
Missy Fraser, a longtime parishioner at St. Margaret Mary until it closed in 2019 due to a lack of funds, praised imam Soharwardy’s vision.
“It’s wonderful to me that it’s going to continue to be a place of worship as it has been for the past century — but also continue to be a place of service to others,” said Fraser.
“We’re keeping the past, but we’re moving into the future.”
There are about 1,053,945 Muslims in Canada. This has been shown to increase every census (10 years).
A majority of the Muslims in Canada follow Sunni Islam, and a minority of them follow Shiite Islam.