Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC – pronounced “Meck”) is a Canadian chain of stores for all things related to the outdoors and to traveling. If you are passing through town on your travels and need to stock up on gear, you’ll want to stop at MEC. For those of you visiting from the States, this is the Canadian version of REI. The King and Spadina location is conveniently located in the heart of downtown and is accessible by transit.
Convenience aside, it’s also just a really fun store with great energy and tons of interesting gadgets and accessories that will make you want to embark on a great adventure. I wander through on my way home from work every so often, and inevitably almost always leave with something: bike lights, a new bell, a backpack, a water bottle, camping dishes, a mattress pad… I like the quality of the goods (most of which come with a lifetime warranty) and it’s a Canadian brand I’m happy to support.
The only thing you should know about MEC is that to shop there, you have to become a member (as it is, indeed, a co-op). However, it’s only $5 for a lifetime membership and well worth it, even if you stop by just once.