A look inside MEC’s new flagship store, with a climbing wall and VR cycling

A look inside MEC’s new flagship store, with a climbing wall and VR cycling

After nearly two years of construction, MEC’s new flagship store at Queen and Peter is finally open. The two-storey space, designed by local firm Sweeney and Co., features B.C.-sourced pine displays, a range of gear for Ironman athletes and glamping enthusiasts alike, and plenty of interactive elements, including a mammoth climbing wall and a VR cycling route. Here’s a look inside the space.

The entire building is carbon neutral. There are plenty of nods to MEC’s sustainability initiatives and history throughout the store, like this panel displaying a copy of their first-ever catalogue from 1971:

The entrance has a mural of Rouge Park, Canada’s first national urban park, east of Scarborough:

The designers made everything on the floors moveable so MEC could host large-scale events inside the space:

The first level has all kinds of camping equipment, like portable wood-fired pizza ovens:

Every Canadian outdoors store needs canoes, and you’ll find plenty of them here:

There’s also a good paddle board selection (these ones are inflatable):

There are special sound mufflers above the checkout counter so cashiers can hear customers better:

For $5, shoppers can purchase a lifetime membership for MEC’s bike repair shop, equipment-lending programs and clinics. The bike shop offers all kinds of repair services, from basic tune-ups to total overhauls:

Upstairs, there’s a 1,000-square-foot bouldering wall. Visitors can test out climbing shoes or just hop on for fun:

Here’s the community centre. This is where they host the clinics, which cover a range of subjects like van camping and DIY bike repairs:

Last year, the company launched MEC Adventures, a series of guided group tours to places like Mount Kilimanjaro, Tuscany and Vietnam:

These panels show shoppers what each tent looks like once it’s built. MEC partnered with software company Finger Food Studios to offer a how-to guide to tent assembly in VR:

There’s no shortage of high-tech gadgets, like these phone chargers, which use energy from campfires to charge your devices:

300 Queen St. W., 416-340-2667, mec.ca.