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Moving the Mountain in North Vancouver
Nearly a decade ago, Mountain Equipment Co-op repurposed a one-time Canadian Tire store in the shadows of the Second Narrows Bridge.
It was a pilot project for the burgeoning outdoor recreation company in 2004.
But in a modest space with parking challenges, it soon found it couldn’t keep up with the needs of local adrenaline junkies.
“We made the building our own as much as we could, but it didn’t meet our environmental standards and stuff like that,” said Michele Hooey, North Vancouver MEC acting administrative assistant.
That changed last Saturday night when MEC shuttered that location, only to reopen hours later across the street at the corner of Brooksbank Avenue and Cotton Drive, without missing a beat.
The new digs, planted right beside the active North Shore Spirit Trail and Lynnmouth Park, boasts 60 per cent more space, totaling 23,000 square feet.
MEC’s new North Vancouver store screams sustainability.
Greeting you in the parking lot are four electric- car charging stations.
The building was constructed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards and is marked by a distinctive saw-tooth roof.
“I know the ceiling is painted white to illuminate whatever natural light is coming in and to disburse it around the store,” Hooey said.
MEC will also make good on its promise of community amenity contributions to the City of North Vancouver: $20,000 has been earmarked for eastbound Cotton Road cycling initiatives. Meanwhile, MEC will also commit to infrastructure and financial support over three years for Lynn Creek/Lynnmouth Park stewardship.
“I know a lot of the staff here [at MEC] live on the North Shore and are already active in trail maintenance,” said Hooey.
With more retail space comes more staff – North Vancouver MEC hired 20 new employees recently — and more stock. Most notably, there is now a full-service bike shop at this location. And MEC’s rental program has expanded vastly to include: tents, sleeping bags, packs, kayaks, canoes and rock climbing shoes.
This Saturday (June 23), the new store at 212 Brooksbank Ave. will host a grand opening, featuring giveaways and free workshops.
“We are definitely excited about our new space and excited to share that with our neighbours and the community,” said Hooey.
For more information visit MEC.ca.