Two empty, snow-covered lots in Inuvik, N.W.T., could soon be home to Canada’s most northerly mosque. The Muslim association in the Arctic town of 3,500 recently purchased the lots, after three years of fundraising. The association has raised more than $40,000 to date to start paying off the land. For the past eight years, Inuvik’s Muslims have prayed in a converted one-bedroom trailer. But space in the makeshift mosque is getting tight – Friday prayers can attract up to 25 people. “The Muslim population is growing,” said Muhammad Muhammad, who prays five times a day in the trailer. “It doesn’t really fit for everybody, especially if there is an event.”
There are no current statistics on the number of Muslims in Inuvik, but census data from 2001 show 45 Muslims in the community that year. The Northwest Territories had 175 Muslims in the 2001 census.