When I was leaving home to go to university in Thunder Bay, everyone told me to go to MEC for all my outdoor gear. Camping, hiking, kayaking and climbing MEC had everything I needed to enjoy the all the beauty that Thunder Bay had to offer. I remember paying my $5 membership fee and feeling like I was part of the Mountain Equipment Coop family.
After finishing our University degrees, my then boyfriend now husband decided to cycle around Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands. It was the trip of a lifetime. We experienced all the beauty the island had to offer and left a little of our own blood ( via black fly bites) sweat and tears along the way. Before we left, we stocked up on all the items we would need to camp during our cycling adventure at MEC. The very best item, by far, that a lovely MEC expert suggested was a gel seat. After 80 km a day of biking, that gel seat (and bug spray) saved me!
Now, with our own three kids, when we are heading back to school or to a cottage weekend filled with boating, hiking and fishing MEC in Westboro is where we go for all our Guthrie family adventure needs.
I’m we’re very excited to share that MEC – Canada’s go-to place for outdoor gear, know-how, and inspiration – is officially launching www.GoodTimesOutside.ca, a new website that inspires and enables users to get outside, sorting activities by vibe, ability, location, and duration!
In a bold effort to inspire more Canadians to get outside, GoodTimesOutside.ca is turning the world of regular activity guides and must-do lists on its head. Launched in time for Canada 150+ celebrations, GoodTimesOutside.ca is an MEC-vetted source for city-dwellers to discover fresh outdoor experiences in their backyards. It’s designed to easily break down the barriers that might keep people from heading outdoors. Both inspiring and then enabling users to get outside – the site filters activities by vibe, ability, location, and duration.
Think of GoodTimesOutside.ca as the Spotify for outdoor activity!
The media received a first look at GoodTimesOutside.ca during MEC’s Picnic en Flannel kick off to summer event at Toronto’s Muggs Island. Now, MEC is ready to share with Canadians as the nation gears up for Canada 150+ celebrations July 1st and throughout the summer!
“The Good Times Outside Guide is the digital manifestation of our purpose: to inspire and enable people to live active outdoor lifestyles.”–MEC CEO David Labistour.
Throughout the summer users will be able to join MEC doing original activities at events across Canada. This includes summer festivals like WayHome and The Big Festival in Ontario, and La Grosse Lantern and Jackalope Fest in Quebec, and pop-up activities such as bike crawls in Vancouver, adult summer camps in Ontario, Quebec and BC, and a special sunrise hike across the country on Canada’s birthday with MEC Outdoor Nation partner Chasing Sunrise.MEC is also funding 25 outdoor experiences dreamt up by staff. Through an internal contest, select MEC staffers across the country will be granted $1000 and a paid day off to share their idea of #GoodTimesOutside.
“Our staff are the embodiment of our purpose,” said David Labistour. “Not just in their own activity pursuits but also how they offer advice to our members and in many cases, serve as community leaders. We’re very excited to support them in spreading their passion and know-how to a wider community through Good Times Outside.”
Some of the staff entries include:
Hiking, snorkeling, and bouldering by Peggy’s Cove on the Atlantic coast – Halifax,NS
Savasana, SUP, and chocolate: an island retreat with meditation and gastronomic pleasures – Montreal, QC
Outdoor Master Chef: an afternoon of fresh air culinary challenges that involve campfires, trail running and ice cream Laval, QC
Paddling a war canoe up the Humber River with people who’ve never explored Toronto’s fresh waters – Toronto, ON
Introducing members of the North York Community House to breakfast in the backcountry, hiking, camp games and climbing demonstrations – North York, ON
Canoe Flotilla to a movie on the river – Edmonton, AB
Improving trails at Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park with volunteers from The Friends of the South Slopes Society – Kelowna, BC
Mountaintop ice-cream where you least expect it but want it the most – North Vancouver, BC
Stand-up paddleboard dodgeball tournament – Vancouver, BC
Paddling the River of Golden Dreams with new Canadians – Whistler, BC
The activity ideas and inspiration will only keep growing. MEC will continue to evolve the website by integrating user feedback, adding new locations every week and generating more MEC-hosted activities following the summer launch. Supporting content is and will continue to be a priority, so anyone using it can get tips and advice through every stage, no matter if it’s a first-time adventure or an annual retreat in need of a little boost.
“We hope to show that with a little help and a lot of inspiration, good times outside are there for the taking.” — said MEC CEO David Labistour.
I cannot wait to see what our Ottawa, MEC staffers have in store for us. Happy Adventuring everyone & travel safe! Let me know which event you will be checking out.