Despite Canada’s great size, it is one of the world’s most sparsely populated countries. However, the strategic positioning of Toronto as a major financial and trade hub has allowed the Dawoodi Bohra Muslims – who are predominantly traders and businessmen – to flourish.
The Dawoodi Bohras settled in Toronto relatively recently, having made Canada their home in the early sixties. Given Canada’s immensely different culture and climate from what these early settlers were used to, Bohras united over time to form an organized community association that enabled them to preserve their roots and revive and reinforce their spiritual and ethnic awareness and practices right here in Toronto. Over the years, the community has expanded into the surrounding regions such as Richmond Hill, Stouffville, Markham and Vaughan.
In 1978, the 52nd leader of the faith, the late His Holiness Dr Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, visited Toronto for the first time. During this and numerous subsequent visits, he developed an affection for the city and built bridges of love and trust with key government officials and local leadership. His Holiness admired the natural beauty and lauded the people of Canada. He was proud that members of the Bohra community contributed to the progress of this great country.
In 1982, the community built the first Dawoodi Bohra Masjid (Mosque) in Canada in Richmond Hill, which was inaugurated by the late His Holiness in Fall of 1990. Over the years, there has been a rapid expansion of the community. The Dawoodi Bohras are now focused on building a large Masjid complex in the town of Stouffville.
The members of this growing community come from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Kenya, Yemen and the USA. The community is renowned for its work ethic, resilience, and energy, with members that are straight forward, objective and fair in their dealings. The community consists of doctors, engineers, geologists, accountants, educationalists, entrepreneurs and other other professionals.
Women empowerment is extremely important to the community. The Bohra women actively engage in education and a range of professional careers, and many own businesses that contribute tremendously to the economic growth of Toronto and its surrounding areas.
“I want to thank our health care heroes along with the many Dawoodi Bohras who have supported people on the frontlines and have helped vulnerable members of our community. [during the Covid19 Pandemic]”
Member of Parliament – Minister of International Trade and Small Business and Export Promotion
“Efforts by the Dawoodi Bohras to support the local community of Stouffville make a difference in the best of times not to mention challenging times like these.”
Mayor Iain Lovatt
of Whitchurch Stouffville
1st February 2020
The Dawoodi Bohras are a business-minded community and encourage entrepreneurial thinking from a very young age. This was evident at the Grand Opening of Toppings, a fast food joint owned by two young members of the community, Husain Trunkwala & Taher Palgharwala in the city of Vaughan. This event was graced by His Worship Mayor Mauricio Bevilacqua of the City of Vaughan. Among the attendees, the President of the Dawoodi Bohras Toronto Chapter (Anjuman-e-Burhani) Mr. Zoeb Galyakotwala was also preset.
Mayor Bevilacqua was highly curious and impressed with the entire store and its working and spent quite some time discussing with both the owners. He was all praise about them by the time he left.
The Dawoodi Bohra’s principal motto of supporting and encouraging entrepreneurs among its people is widely popular and known globally. These two young entrepreneurs are one of the many new business owners this year.
Since its opening in February, Toppings has already gained popularity within the local community for its delicious offerings of Halal Pizza’s, wings and many other various options in their menu.
Wishing them luck and success on this new venture.
#Congratulations Husain Trunkwala & Taher Palgharwala on the grand opening of Toppings, located at 3255 Rutherford Rd. It is great to see #businesses grow in our #community where #entrepreneurs can invest, expand service offerings and achieve success. pic.twitter.com/6eXgXPqizH
— Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua (@mbmayor) February 2, 2020
9th February 2020
A common fact about any member of the Dawoodi Bohra community is that he or she has roots in India and shares a strong bond with the India and its culture. Beginning of 2020, the Dawoodi Bohras of Toronto were honored to host the Consul General of India Hon. Smt. Apoorva Srivastava and Consul (Commerce) & HOC Mr. Saifullah Khan for a visit at Masjid-us-Saifee in Richmond Hill.
Both the dignitaries were received graciously by the community’s president and well as the members of the community. They were given a detailed tour of the Masjid Complex as well as the operations of different activities that take place within the community.
A number of discussions included the ever-changing needs of a growing community, the health and success of international students, the new masjid complex and the potential visit of His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin were on the agenda.
The Consul General left the community with the sense of friendship and support to her goals and we hope to host the members of the Indian Consulate again soon.
Exceptional work by Anjuman-E-Burhani @Dawoodi_Bohras Community supporting international students and others in need during this pandemic crisis. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/GGlmnweHOR
— IndiainToronto (@IndiainToronto) April 18, 2020
16th June 2020
The Dawoodi Bohras of Toronto are responsible community members, but they proved they are good citizens as well by regularly donating food and other supplies to people in need as well as the front-line workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
This initiative, part of the global Project Rise program is a coordinated effort involving Bohras in 500 communities worldwide,
Various other activities are being undertaken by the community including supporting the elderly, fostering friendships with local, provincial and federal community members and providing care packages to Healthcare professionals, Fire stations, Regional police stations.
Bringing essential food and medical supplies to the international students is also activity by the Bohras which gained recognition from the Indian Consulate in Toronto.
The Hon. Mayor Dave Barrow of Richmond Hill and the Hon. Mayor Iain Lovatt of Whitchurch-Stouffville have publicly appreciated the efforts of the community and provided their support on various occasions.
The @Dawoodi_Bohras of Toronto are grateful to Consul General Smt. @_apoorvasri and Consul (Commerce) & HOC Mr. @Khan_Saifullah1 for visiting us today.
We look forward to engaging in the various cultural & economical initiatives by the @IndiainToronto & building stronger bonds. pic.twitter.com/azJVI0gsuR
— Murtaza Abid (Official) (@MurtazAbid) February 9, 2020