Halal Food Near UofT

Assalamualaikum!

As winter’s final (inshAllah) leg leaves us (again), we, students at UofT can finally come out of hibernation and get sustenance!



It became apparent to me that although we have a significant amount of halal options around campus, not many people know about them. So I’ve compiled a map with some details including price range, halal options, and location. The map is made to fit within a 1.5km radius from Hart House which should only be a 15 minute walk. 

 

Bon Appetite!

Note that $ = $3.00 – $5.00

 

A.      Daddyo’s Pasta & Salads

·         Only Halal Chicken

·         Waited Service

·         $$

 

B.      Veda Restaurant

·         Fast Food

·         $

 

C.      Pita Q Restaurant

·         Dine In or Take Out

·         $

 

D.      Sarah’s Shawarma & Falafel

·         Dine In or Take Out

·         $

 

E.       Steak & Cheese & Quick Pita Restaurant

·         Dine In or Take Out

·         $

 

F.       The Burgernator

·         Kensington, warm atmosphere, unique

·         $$

 

G.     Sammy’s Student Exchange

·         Some Chicken is Halal (look for sign)

·         $$

 

H.      Popeyes

·         Machine slaughtered chicken

·         $

 

I.        Hero Certified Burgers

·         Turkey is not halal

·         $$

 

J.        Hero Certified Burgers

·         Turkey is not halal

·         $$

 

K.      Burrito Planet

·         Feeling Mexican?

·         $$

 

L.       Slice of New York Restaurant

·         Pizza and Wings and Strombolis!

·         $$

 

M.    Paramount

·         Shish Tawook, ‘nough said.

·         Great sit-in restaurant

·         $$$

 

N.     Ali Baba’s

·         Shawarmas Franchise whenever you need one

·         $

 

O.     Robarts Library Café

·         Select Halal options. Shawarmas while studying

·         $

 

P.      Big Al’s Flyin’ Philys

·         New joint in Kensington. All sandwiches named after rappers

·         $$

 

Q.     Veda at MFC

·         Fast Food

·         $

 

R.      The SAJ Pizza & Wrap

·         Have you own 10’ personal pizza

·         $$

 

S.       Somethin 2 Talk About

·         Order online

·         So many different kinds of sandwiches!

·         $$

 

T.       Nando’s Flame-Grilled Chicken

·         Peri-Peri Chicken

·         $$$

 

U.     Innis Café

·         Halal Jerk Chicken for your Caribbean Vibes

·         $$

 

V.      Howard Ferguson Dining Hall (Fung)

·         Changing variety of halal options, like Chicken Pasta!

·         $

 

W.    Burrito Bandidos

·         Chicken is Halal

·         Large portions!

·         $$

 

X.    Sizzler Kabab

·         Everything is Halal

·         Pakistani cuisine

·         $$

Note about the author: Shafquat Arefeen is a PEY student and the current VP Finance of the U of T MSA.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles posted on the website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official positions and opinions of the Muslim Students’ Association.

The MSA response to your feedback

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh / Peace, blessings and mercy be upon you,

At the end of the previous semester, the MSA asked the community for feedback on how our past semester went and how we could improve for the coming future. In this post, I’d like to share some of that feedback with you and provide insight on how we plan to address the issues that were brought up. Before beginning, I’d like to thank each and every one of you that took the time to fill out our feedback form and let us know what you think. We take feedback very seriously, and we went through each and every response to try and learn from it. Although we can’t address all of the responses individually, we hope this post offers a way for the community to see how we are doing and how we are thinking about the responsibilities that we have to serve.

The feedback we received, for the most part, was centered on three themes: getting closer to Allah, gender interaction, and administrative efficiencies.

Getting Closer to Allah

A large portion of respondents believed that most of the events provided by the MSA did not help them get closer to Allah. As the MSA, we believe that every event, even if it is social in nature or community in nature, should, in the ultimate sense, link back to Islam and to God and provide people with a sense of connection and purpose within the context of Islam. Unfortunately, it seems that we missed the mark in this past semester. We don’t believe that this issue is a result of the nature of events that we have – indeed every event that the MSA does goes through a formal process in which the intended purpose is explicitly stated. And if this purpose does not relate to our values, then it is rejected. So we decided that the best way to remedy this issue is to make the connection to spirituality explicit and provide our attendees with context for the events that we have. By providing attendees with a clear purpose, either in the form of a small talk or otherwise, people will come to enjoy the event while leaving with a higher spiritual state. Connecting various aspects of our programming, from social justice, to hanging out with your fellow brothers and sisters, with worship and a relationship with Allah will inshaAllah help us get closer to Him.

Gender Interaction

Another key theme that was prevalent amongst the responses was the issue of gender interaction. A lot of people were not comfortable with the level of gender interaction that occurs in and around the MSA, and thus were suggesting various solutions to remedy this issue. Although we recognize that Islam has set boundaries with regards to such things, the MSA does not play the role of enforcing these boundaries, and we believe the MSA’s role should be to encourage good and not to enforce it. The priority for the MSA is to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable and continues on their journey to get closer to Allah – while avoiding everything that is clearly outside of the bounds of Islam. We recognize that everyone is at a different point in their faith, and that there are many opinions on this issue, and thus we do not take a hard-and-fast stance on the matter. At the same time, we think it is necessary for our community to create dialogue around this issue and get the opinions of community leaders and scholars to help guide our opinion on this matter. Given these things, we came up with a few solutions to try to remedy this issue. The first is to ensure that the rooms we choose allow the genders to segregate naturally – that is to say, that they are ample in space for everyone to be comfortable. The second is to explicitly plan the layout of the rooms that we use such that we can create an environment which can accommodate the different comfort level of our attendees. In addition, we hope to provide more insight on this topic by arranging Friday khutbahs on the issue and engaging in more dialogue and study within our community. Finally, we hope to have more gender-specific events under the Brothers’ Events, as well as Sisters’ Events directorships respectively. We hope that this decision will take us closer to Allah, the sunnah and allow us to be open and inviting to all who wish to join us.

Administrative Efficiencies

A large portion of respondents wanted us to expand our programming to include more traditional forms of Islamic knowledge such as Qur’an, Tajweed, etc. The MSA is committed to providing such programs for the benefit of the Muslim community; however practical considerations make it very difficult. Although in the past we have had some excellent instructors on such topics (e.g. the Hadith class), we do not have easy access to qualified instructors who are able to work around the U of T schedule and teach at the downtown campus. Nevertheless, we are working towards getting a Tajweed program started on campus and hope to grow that further into other branches as well, with the permission of Allah.

Another aspect of this was to guide the MSA direction through the form of feedback. It is the standard of the MSA to ask for feedback after each and every event through its Facebook page, and in some cases, in person as well. We are committed to hearing feedback at any time, after Jummah, or during our office hours, or for anyone to send us an email or contact us otherwise for any suggestions or concerns they may have. By the grace of Allah, we were able to get your feedback for the past semester and are committed to upholding the same standard of feedback in the future to best serve our members.

I hope the above gave all of you some insight as to how we plan to deal with the concerns that were brought up. We hope to make the actions and decisions of the MSA as beneficial and transparent as possible so that we can collectively come to the right decision for the future of this community.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and may Allah reward you and keep you and your family safe.

Note about the author: Zerzar Bukhari is a final year Engineering student and the current president of the U of T MSA. He’s also involved in the Muslim Chaplaincy as well as the Muslim Association of Canada.

From Concept to Creation: behind the scenes of the rebranding project

The Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) at the University of Toronto is an organization with a long and rich history.  Founded in 1965, it has grown tremendously in order to reach its present state and has, with the help of Allah, managed to accomplish many amazing feats along the way. In 1972, the MSA was an active proponent in the movement to  support women’s full access to Hart House. Keeping with tradition, the MSA continues to be open and responsive to change. In recent years, the MSA has strived to create an open and inclusive environment for Muslims and non-Muslims in which they will be able to connect to Islam and to one another. As such, the time has come for the MSA’s outward image to reflect this recent tradition while remaining true to its rich history.

At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, members of the MSA team embarked on an exciting two month long project with the aim of crafting a brand identity that reflected the dynamic, adaptive nature of the MSA, whilst remaining true to its essence.  What followed was a conceptual and design challenge, pushing the team to discover contemporary design techniques that could successfully encapsulate the vision and values of the organization.

The Rebranding Team

  • Vice-President Communications: Haneef Ghanim
  • Director of Graphic Design: Aiman Batool
  • Graphic Design Committee: Azizah Arif, Ifrah Akhter and Nilufer Hoque
  • MSA Executives and Directors (2013-2014)

Timeline

 

Untitled

Logotype Process

The new logo is a combination of iconography and typography. It embodies a convergence between the essence of the organization, maintained through symbolism, and its adaptability, projected through contemporary design techniques.

Iconography

The emblem is a fusion between the carefully crafted negative space serving as grounds for symbolism, the selected colour palette evoking desired psychological perceptions, and adapted design techniques giving the brand a contemporary edge.

 

Iconography

Typography

Influenced by the proposed emblem, the typographic end of the logo embraced an inviting and professional font. Use of this typeface was intended to maximize recognition and readability.

 

Typography

 

The Grand Finale – MSA Eid Dinner Launch

The new logo was released at the Annual MSA Eid Dinner on October 24, 2013. The launch was marketed through an Apple-Parody styled video, followed by a photo booth featuring the logo as a backdrop! A design analysis was later published in The Muslim Voice Magazine Vol XIX Issue II to shed insight on the new design!

 

 

As the director of this rebranding project and having had the honour of working alongside incredibly talented and insightful individuals, this logo carries a multitude of meanings to me. The image, to me, symbolizes the entire project: the dedication of those involved, the deep levels of reflection, the gentle and selfless advice, the melange of individual perceptions and cohesiveness of the team, and much more. Though above all else, it invokes a sense of deep and strong connection to a greater whole. Having been a part of the MSA for over 3 years, I see the imprint of each individual that has in some way interacted with this organization over time, shaping the greater mould. I sincerely hope that with the passage of time, as the MSA continues to inshaAllah grow with every individual touch, this connection and sense of unity stemming from the beauty of Islam resonates with every perceiver of the logo and every soul that the MSA touches.

Note about the author: Aiman Batool is a fourth year Cognitive Science and Psychology student. Inspired from her MSA learning experiences, she has taken her graphic design hobby to the professional realm and offers design services through her company Aumbre Studio.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles posted on the website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official positions and opinions of the Muslim Students’ Association.