MEC, the leading outdoor retailer in Canada, confirmed its relocated Toronto flagship store will open April 13, 2019. MEC will occupy two levels of the 54,000-square-foot development located at 300 Queen Street West, offering the 490,000 co-op members in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) a wider assortment of products and services.
In addition to a better layout and inspiring store experiences, the new flagship will serve as a community hub, offering clinics, events, member services and spaces for local outdoor groups and organizations to reserve and use.
Notable features of MEC’s new Toronto flagship include:
- “Basecamp” open-concept community space: used to host how-to clinics, community events and to connect members with places to camp, hike and get active outside in Ontario.
- Bouldering wall: a 1,000-square-foot wall for in-store climbing
- Full-service bike repair and ski shop: a new open-concept design offering a welcoming space for MEC specialist staff to help members gear up for biking and skiing adventures
“We’re honored to join the vibrant and historic shopping community on Queen Street West,” said MEC Director of Store Development, George Bevan. “The new Toronto flagship will act as a hub for local residents, urban commuters and active people across the GTA, making it the place to start any adventure. By relocating to this highly accessible location, we are better able to serve our members, adding lasting value, vibrant in-store experiences and vitality through our services and programming.”
Continuing the focus on accessibility, MEC’s new Toronto flagship can be easily reached by foot, by bike from multiple routes including Soho Street, St. George Street and Peter Street – by transit from Osgoode Station, and both 301 Queen and 510 Spadina Streetcars – or by car via the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) and Gardiner Expressway. Three levels of underground parking are available to store visitors providing 116 spaces for vehicles including five spaces for disabled parking. Thirty-two bike parking stalls are also on hand outside the front doors.
An Inclusive Space
As part of the organization’s commitment to ensure more people feel welcome at MEC stores, MEC Queen West will have fully accessible, universal changeroom facilities on each floor, and a fully accessible universal washroom facility on the second floor. Additionally, the store’s entrance will feature MEC’s first written land acknowledgment to recognize the Indigenous land the building is located on, accompanied by an installation that highlights a local Indigenous community partner, Outdoor Reconcili-Action.
Product and Service Offerings
The flagship will feature the latest MEC Label spring collection, developed by new Senior Director of Product Design and Production, Wendy Youds. The collection focuses on timeless designs made from technical materials that are durable, easy-care and sustainable. The store will also have a wider selection of technical outdoor gear for camping, climbing, paddle sports and snow sports, an extensive array of men’s and women’s apparel for cycling, travel, hiking, running, fitness and yoga, as well as footwear, outerwear, kids’ and casual clothing. An industry leader in product sustainability, MEC carries over 1,300 environmentally preferred products.
The flagship location will also provide an enhanced version of MEC’s low-cost equipment rental program, offering camping gear, skis, boats and more to enable people to get active outdoors.
The new purpose-built store features a distinctive floating canopy to mark the store’s entrance and interior wood elements to define the store and display merchandise. Like all MEC buildings, the MEC Toronto store will be operationally carbon neutral, using renewable energy, when it opens.
Community, Events and Programming
MEC’s Toronto flagship store is designed as a community hub, connecting everyone with places to explore, people to go with and the skills needed to get there. The Queen Street store will offer events and clinics nearby and in-store, everything from “Learn-to-Camp” sessions hosted with national partner Parks Canada, to workshops that develop members’ running, cycling or climbing skills. MEC will also launch new events programming tailored to the neighboring community. Planned events include in-store experiences with local artist Maria Qamar (known as Hatecopy), exhilarating film screenings with Red Bull and a Mother’s Day hike with community partner Parkbus.
A community room within the new MEC store will also serve as a meeting space that comfortably seats 12 people, available for use by local outdoor groups and environmental organizations.
As part of MEC’s nationwide community investment program, in the past five years, MEC has contributed nearly $2.6 million in gear, funding and community grants in Ontario. This investment includes $2 million through 150 grants, over $450,000 in funding to 38 province-wide partners, and support for 263 Ontario organizations with product donations valued over $46,000. Local organizations that have received MEC grants include: CultureLink, Ontario Parks, Charlie’s FreeWheels, and Parkbus.
MEC has 23 stores nationwide.