MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) opened a store in Kitchener in Ontario, Canada.

Centrally located about 800 meters west of Fairview Park Mall at 10 Manitou Drive, the store will serve MEC’s growing membership of 58,000 outdoor enthusiasts across the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo metropolitan area and surrounding regions. It is the Co-op’s first location in the Tri-Cities region and its seventh store in Ontario.

“We are excited to officially join the dynamic Tri-Cities community with the opening of MEC Kitchener — and based on the response we’ve received, so are our members,” said MEC CEO David Labistour. “Tech innovation and educational institutions have made this one of the fastest growing regions in Canada, and we see a huge opportunity to add lasting value and vitality to the area through the outdoor recreation products, services and event programming offered through the new store.”

To celebrate the new store, the community is invited to MEC Kitchener’s grand opening event on Saturday, May 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There will be gifts for the first 100 people who arrive, fun activities throughout the day and a grand prize giveaway of a $500 MEC gift card to inspire good times outside.

MEC Kitchener offers a thoughtful selection of apparel, footwear and gear for almost any outdoor activity — cycling, running, camping, climbing, fitness, yoga, watersports, snowsports and travel. Cycling occupies the largest area of retail space, supporting the strong and growing regional interest in the activity. In addition to a full-service bike repair shop and fitting station, cyclists on the go will benefit from a DIY outdoor bike repair stand, kitted out with tools and a bike foot pump.

A community hub for active outdoor lifestyles in the Tri-Cities, MEC Kitchener brings the Co-op’s popular event programming to the region. Members can participate in weekly meet-ups for running and riding, as well as how-to sessions for activities like backpacking and cycling. Offering low entry fees and open to all ages and abilities, MEC Kitchener’s Race Series kicked off with its first running race in the region on Sunday, May 6, with the next race happening on Sunday, June 11.

“My staff and I are super-excited to welcome the community and support active lifestyles across the Tri-Cities region,” said MEC Kitchener Store Manager Will McCutcheon. “Whether novice or expert, we look forward to supporting both new and existing members with their favourite outdoor activities.”

Through its Community Contributions program, MEC helps to inspire people to be active outside, and to conserve ecologically and recreationally important places. Since 2010, MEC has invested over $269,000 in the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas. Province-wide, MEC has supported more than 840 recreation and conservation projects in Ontario, investing over $2.8 million since 2010.

MEC Kitchener’s opening is part of an unprecedented period of growth for the outdoor retailer in the province. MEC opened its third GTA location in North York, last fall, and also relocated its London store to larger premises. MEC’s downtown Toronto flagship will relocate in 2018, to a more accessible Queen Street West location.

MEC’s new Kitchener store employs approximately 40 staff members in a mix of casual, part-time and full-time positions. Like all MEC stores and buildings, the Tri-Cities location is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.

Photo courtesy MEC