Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) is one step closer to opening a 44,000 square foot store at 784 Sheppard Street East in suburban Toronto. North York Municipal Council has supported a rezoning application that will go to vote at Toronto City Council on February 19th. If built, this will be Toronto’s second MEC store.

For those unfamiliar, MEC is a Vancouver-based consumers’ cooperative which carries outdoor recreation gear and clothing and sells merchandise exclusively to its members. A lifetime membership costs $5, and the company has over 3.5 million members. It is considered to be Canada’s largest supplier of outdoor equipment. It was founded in 1971 and has 17 stores in 16 Canadian cities.

The two-level MEC store would be part of a mixed-use development that would also feature 50 units of stacked townhouses behind the new store, on the north portion of the 0.786 hectare site.

Parking would be provided underground through two separate garages that are connected by a common access ramp. The store garage would hold 125 car stalls; another 93 would be available for residents of the townhomes. Vehicle access to the site would be provided from Sheppard Avenue. Thirty-six bike parking stalls are also proposed for the store.

If approved, construction of MEC’s North York store and the townhouses will begin in March. The store is expected to open in the spring of 2015. It would be MEC’s second store in the Greater Toronto Area, complementing the retailer’s downtown location on King Street West.

“We are extremely pleased to have received the support of North York Municipal Council,” said MEC CFO Sandy Treagus. “MEC firmly believes that our proposal aligns with the city’s planning objectives for the site, and we are optimistic that Toronto City Council will also see its merit and approve the rezoning.”

Of MEC’s more than 3.5 million members across Canada, over 620,000 reside in the Greater Toronto Aarea, notes Sandy Treagus. “Ontarians are among the most active in this country, and more than 100,000 MEC members actually reside in the North York area. We are looking forward to supporting these members – and anyone interested in joining MEC – to help them gear up for any manner of recreation in the city, nearby parks or adventures further afield.”