World’s Largest ‘Activate’ Gaming Facility Opens at Bramalea City Centre Near Toronto [Interview/Photos]


Share post:

The world’s largest Activate, an active gaming facility, has opened at Bramalea City Centre in Brampton, Ontario – its fifth location in Canada. 

Activate consists of a series of 11 interactive game rooms where people can play arcade-style games by actually jumping, climbing and dodging. The new Activate at Bramalea City Centre is 13,000 square feet and features laser lights, glowing walls and huge high-tech rooms where people can play games like Arena, Hoops, Mega Grid and Climb.

Nicole MacPhail

Nicole MacPhail, Marketing Director at BCC, said Activate is located at the exterior entrance of the shopping centre, next to Decathlon.

“We’re finding, and I think this is a lot of shopping centres, a need for more I’d say retail-tainment. We want to really pull our shoppers off of their phones and get them back into the mall,” she said. “So something like Activate Games gives our shoppers a reason to come to the mall, hopefully a motivation to come out and shop but also to experience something different. 

Image: Activate

“Activate really is something cool . . . We see immersive events but this is basically like you’re almost in an immersive video game when you’re actually participating and playing as opposed to people who spent a lot of time sitting at home playing video games. This is now bringing people out of their homes to actively participate in the game itself.

“I think it’s a really nice social activity to have and it’s a great form of exercise. There’s lots of different levels you can go through so you can kind of do it as a social activity or you can come and really get competitive and do it as a super fun workout.” 

Bramalea City Centre is the largest shopping centre in the City of Brampton, and the fourth largest in Ontario. The two-level shopping centre offers 1.5 million square feet of retail shopping space, showcasing a tenant mix of over 300 stores and services including Aritzia, Decathlon, H&M, Browns Shoes and Sephora.

Recently, besides Activate, the shopping centre has also seen the opening of JD Sports, Stokes and WLKN.

MacPhail said that through the pandemic people got comfortable being at home and being able to order things from home.

“Shopping centres are just really looking for ways to draw people out of their homes. Maybe now we’re not as much just a shopping destination but we want to be more of that entertainment destination and a place for the community to come out and meet again. I think it’s really important and we’re seeing that with a lot of shopping centres where they’re having more events or reasons to come to the mall,” she said. 

Image: Activate

“Our traffic levels are doing really, really well. We’re seeing people returning to the mall and we’re seeing our sales matching with that. It’s really positive to see that people still want to come to the mall and people are shopping when they’re coming to the malls. We’re seeing some really positive results.”

Activate also has locations in Burlington, Scarborough, Edmonton South and Winnipeg.

It offers high-tech games that test a team’s physical and mental agility across a wide variety of real-life challenges. Once inside, people can choose from hundreds of combinations of games and difficulty levels, each lasting one to three minutes. An electronic wristband tracks the score and progress throughout a person’s experience. A minimum group of three people is needed to play, as games are played in groups of three to five.

Kris Mutcher of Colliers International represents Activate Games for their rapid expansion efforts internationally, and Paul Courchesne in Ontario, with plans to open one location per month in 2023 across Canada and the US.

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author



Subscribe to the Newsletter


* indicates required

Related articles

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.

What to Expect for the Canadian Retail and Hospitality Sectors in 2024 [Video Interview]

Michael Kehoe provides an expansive overview of what's expected for Canada's retail industry in 2024, and how the commercial real estate industry is becoming more dynamic than ever.

Anatomy of a Leader: David Lui, CEO of Kit and Ace and Co-Founder of Unity Brands

Lui has an extensive background in retail with over 30 years of experience and is known for his award-winning brand transformations, e-commerce and digital knowledge along with his passion for scaling businesses.

Robotic Retail Gaining Traction in Canada, But Some Consumers are Being Left Behind [Op-Ed]

Automated retailers without in-store staff are opening across Canada, such as Aisle 24, RC Coffee and PizzaForno -- but consumers without smart phones, credit cards, or with vision issues may not be able to access these retailers says a researcher.