Inside G Adventures’ Toronto HQ, with lights made of iMacs, a Star Wars-themed meeting room and a ball pit

Inside G Adventures’ Toronto HQ, with lights made of iMacs, a Star Wars-themed meeting room and a ball pit

What: The global HQ for adventure tourism company G Adventures
Where: Three floors of a mixed-use building at Adelaide and Spadina
How big: 35,000 square feet for around 220 employees

G Adventures isn’t your average travel company. The adventure tourism outfit, founded by Bruce Poon Tip in 1990, is geared towards globe-trotters who want an alternative to all-inclusive resorts, cookie-cutter hotels and touristy sightseeing packages. G’s Toronto HQ reflects the company’s commitment to doing things differently: the space is bright, colourful and casual, with a foosball table, meeting rooms decked out in Star Trek and Dr. Seuss decals, and plush chairs in the company’s signature deep purple hue scattered throughout the office’s three floors. Staffers don’t call this workspace an office: in keeping with the G’s adventure-tourism mandate, it’s the “Basecamp.”

G recently hosted a Halloween party in this common area, which features a foosball table and free popcorn. It’s also the space from which the company broadcasts all-office town halls to its 23 offices worldwide (coordinating among timezones can be tricky):

 

Staff convene in the shared kitchen—which features the company’s Core Values printed in white on the signature purple walls—every Friday at 4 p.m. for “beer o’clock” (there’s cider and wine on hand, too):

 

These vintage lunchboxes were mostly bought on eBay. Elizabeth, the office receptionist, donated the KISS one (it was hers when she was a kid):


 

All of the office’s meeting rooms are named after “world change-makers.” This is the Steve Jobs room, complete with light fixtures made out of first-generation iMacs:

 

Smaller meeting rooms, like this Star Wars-themed one, are used to host everything from interviews to satellite meetings with staff at one of G’s international offices:

 

Staffers have designated desks, but they’re free to wander and work from the various sofas, couches and communal tables throughout the space. They’re also encouraged to bring their dogs to the office (sadly, there were no pooches around on the day of our visit):

 

The sides of the staircases leading between G’s three floors are printed with milestones in the company’s history (like the company’s Facebook page hitting 10,000 likes, which happened in 2010):

 

Founder Bruce Poon Tip was photographed leaping off of these Roche Bobois modular couches for a feature in Canadian Business magazine:

 

This Prince-inspired variation on the G logo is on the door of Poon Tip’s office:

 

The company’s Planeterra division, located in this room, facilitates tourism-adjacent social enterprise projects in developing countries. A recent initiative involved training women in New Delhi to drive their own taxis, providing them with work, and giving G tour leaders trustworthy cars to hire in the area:

 

The massive patio, nestled among King West’s ever-expanding collection of high-rises, is where staff convene during the summer for barbecues, movie nights and yoga classes:

 

The last step in G Adventures’ hiring process is a “G Factor” interview, where prospective new hires are joined by various staffers inside this ball pit, to gauge culture fit. There’s a wheel of questions to the left: interviewees spin it, and answer whatever question it lands on. (We did a mock G Factor during our visit—you can watch it here):