PIC History

History of Pickering Islamic Centre (Masjid Usman)*

Muslim presence in Canada dates back to the arrival of the first Muslim settlers who came to the prairies with the opening of Alberta and Saskatchewan for development at the turn of the last century. 

Since the end of World War II, Canada emerged as the land of immigrants, attracting people of numerous skills and talents from the ends of the earth. People of Muslim faith from the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and parts of Europe came here to begin a new and promising life.

When Canada opened its arms to welcome people from around the world, it was a defining moment. The early seventies saw an influx of immigrants heading to major cities; few chose to settle in smaller and serene suburbs like Pickering. Today, the City of Pickering boasts over 2,000 Muslim families — a synthesis of many cultures, races, and languages with Islam being a distinct binding factor.  

Excited by the promise of the new land, the new immigrants wasted little time planting their roots in Pickering. They embarked upon a new beginning in their new country, preserving the fundamentals of their faith, as their ancestors had over the centuries when they migrated to new lands — by building a mosque and shaping a Canadian Muslim identity in this area.

It all began on September 1, 1997, when an old house sitting on 1.8 acres of land on Brock Road North was purchased as the site of the proposed mosque. It was a dream to have the first mosque in the area. Spearheading this initiative were Mirza Inamullah Baig and Kazim Uddin Qureshi, two friends, powered by their vision and with a single-minded purpose. They launched this project to build a place where the community will converge not just for worshipping purposes but to actively participate in the progress and prosperity of their new homeland. 

Their pioneering efforts gained strength when Ibne Saud Syed, a civil servant, and Javed Salam, a local businessman, joined the two founding members. They brought zeal and tenacity to this undertaking, and the rest was history.

The task was huge with soaring ambitions and little resources, yet the community came together as a mosque is ever closer to a Muslim’s heart; an integral part of a believer’s life. They trusted and rallied around the people who were at the forefront and raised funds on their own. Today, the magnificent structure stands tall as a tribute to their generosity and to all those who contributed to its successful completion.

The Centre has produced a stream of devoted volunteers and citizens who came forward with their resources and endless commitments.

History was in the making when the Centre was officially opened on August 24, 2008. The mosque with its dome and minarets became one of Pickering’s landmark sites and a living testament to the faith. This marvel, designed by renowned architect Khalil Syed, symbolizes Islam’s enduring legacy of balance, peace and harmony.

Founding Members

Name Email Position Phone
Rana Akhtar Ali Khan President
Syed Hashim Zaheer Treasurer
Ibne Saud Syed [email protected] Secretary (905) 426-7887
Mirza Inamullah Beg Trustee
Kazim Uddin Qureshi [email protected] Trustee (905) 426-7887
Javed Salam [email protected] Trustee (905) 426-7887
Rashied Bakharia Trustee
Rashid Ansari Trustee


  • The Centre occupies a total covered area of 17,870 sq. ft., including basement with a hall for functions & private events, and a Kitchen.
  • The main floor has a prayer hall, a conference room, offices and a mortuary.
  • ​Second Floor is designated for ladies prayer hall, class rooms and our Elementary School Office 

*Muslims often refer to the mosque by its Arabic name, masjid. It’s named after the third Caliph, Usman, one of the most revered figures in Muslim history.