Muslim presence in the Niagara region can be traced back to the early 1960s. As time went on, these early Muslims realized the need to preserve their cultural heritage and Islamic identity. Some of them took turns hosting social and religious functions at their homes. As the number of Muslims grew in the late 1970s and early 1980s, community members saw the need to build their first place of worship. With generous donations from Muslim families, a mosque was built in 1984 on Lyons Creek Rd. in Niagara Falls.
With the newly-established mosque being relatively distant, it was quite difficult for many Muslims who lived, worked, or studied in St. Catharines to commute to Niagara Falls for daily or weekly prayers. In 1987, the community—led by Brock MSA students—rented a room at 15 King St. in downtown St. Catharines for daily prayers, Ramadan functions, and Eid celebrations. Soon the room was outgrown and the members decided to rent a bigger unit at 491 Merritt St. Not long after that, the Islamic Society of St. Catharines (ISSC) was established. Another prayer space was offered at 22 Geneva St. by a prominent member of the community, Hussein Hamdani, for congregational prayers at no cost. This was only a temporary solution and members of the community always dreamt of a permanent mosque of their own.
Since its establishment, Masjid An-Noor has been a significant religious and cultural icon in the City of St. Catharines—endeavoring to meet the spiritual, social, and educational needs of the diverse Muslim community. The mosque has also been committed to fostering interfaith relations and building bridges of understanding with other faith communities in the city.
The mission of the ISSC is to help members of the Muslim community achieve success as Canadian citizens while preserving a strong Muslim identity and contributing to the prosperity of the larger community.