Gamemaster Spotlight – Freeing Canada – Toronto
Gamemasters Ken and Ada (a husband and wife team) opened Freeing Canada in Richmond Hill not too long ago. Already it has become one of our favourite uptown spots and popular with locals. Take it away Ken and Ada.
EGR: Did you know the Unmask/Mission Incredible rooms currently have a contest to win an IPhone 6?
Why did you get involved in the Escape Room business?
The idea of starting in the Escape Room business started after my wife and I played in one escape game in 2013. To be truthful, we were never gaming fanatics, but the concept of real life escape games just screamed out at us. We love hanging out with our friends, and escape rooms definitely provide a whole different world for friends to gather, work together, fight, and bicker. We saw a lot of potential in this industry in North America as it has been very popular in Asia for many years, but just gaining popularity in North America over the past few years. This is when my wife and I had the crazy idea to open up a store of our own. We contacted several Asia escape room companies because we did not feel that we were capable of designing our own escape rooms. After reviewing several company profiles and looking at escape room designs, we chose Freeing. It worked out great, as one of our best friends who moved back to HK decided to join our team, and he became the liaison with the franchiser. There are definitely days when my wife and I think “what did we get ourselves into” juggling our regular day jobs and our 2 toddler boys; but we have an amazing team of 6 other staff members supporting us every step of the way. We are all friends and we are all falling more in love with Escape Rooms each day.
EGR: Believe it or not this is only a small portion of the lobby.
What do you think makes your facility standout in the city?
Freeing Canada Station – Toronto has a spacious 1000 sq-ft lounge offering FREE boardgames for friends to hang out pre or post escape room. Fresh popped popcorn is also on the house. Drinks and baked goods are available for purchase. We have escape rooms suitable for all types of players; no matter whether you’re a beginner or an expert, single room or multi-room lover, riddle solver or prefer something more physical – we have something just for you!
EGR: Great props is only one of the reasons to visit Freeing Canada.
Do you have any Interesting stories about any players/Teams?
Watching players/teams play is actually one of the most favourite things all our staff likes to do. With a bowl of popcorn in their hands, they say its even more entertaining then going to the movies. Our most memorable games definitely involve guys and girls screaming and running out with flailing arms from Unmask (YES guys too). Its amazing how creative players/teams can get during a game; one team was so creative to relocate and hide a human sized doll that our staff member actually got scared when he could not find it when resetting the room.
Having kids come through our store definitely makes us feel old and remind us that we are no longer teens. The largest kids group we had was from Scouts Canada with 20 kids ranging from 11 to 14 year old. They have endless amounts of energy! After the escape game, they continued with a team building event in our lounge doing jumping jacks and push-ups and performing “One Direction” and “Frozen” songs as a result of failing to escape from our rooms. But unfortunately, these videos cannot be publicized due to our agreement with Scouts Canada, as it was a VERY entertaining afternoon.
What are some places people are more likely to visit before/after your rooms?
Being conveniently located next to T&T Supermarket and several eateries (i.e. Nando’s Chicken, Little Saigon Vietnamese food, Nak Won Korean food, Tomo Sushi) people tend to grab a quick bite before or after their game; or even in between games when teams decide to go for Round 2 after trying us out.
Do players have a favourite room?
Our most popular rooms at the present time is Unmask and Mission Incredible. However, we are hoping that our newest room addition in the near future, Unforeseeable Pyramid, will be a big hit too.
EGR: Mission Incredible has the most solid builds for a laser rooms we have come across.
Any other cool or interesting things you want your players/potential players to know?
We will always have a special promotional offer in store, so please check back regularly. Our current promotion is an iPhone6 draw, and one player from every team who successfully escapes from Unmask, Mission Incredible, or Unforeseeable Pyramid will be qualified into the draw.
There you have it. We look forward to seeing what Ken and Ada come up with as they become a mainstay in the GTA.
For more information check out:
9625 Yonge street, 2F,
Richmond Hill, ON, L4C 5T2