MEC is a wonderful Canadian outdoor store chain with offices in various cities across Canada. Its history stems from the actions of mountain climbers in British Columbia in the 1960's. The group were regular patrons on an American outdoors store called R.E.I. in Seattle; however, they were frequently harassed by customs officials upon return to Canada. The co-op was founded in Vancouver in 1971, to deal with the lack of a good outfitter in Canada. It has grown since then, to include Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, and soon, Halifax.

Some interesting facts about MEC:
  • It costs $5 to buy a share in the Co-op. You cannot purchase anything at MEC without being a member in the Co-op.
  • MEC does not have sales. The only discounts are for damaged or discontinued items.
  • MEC describes itself as a not for profit enterprise, but not a non-profit enterprise.
  • MEC has paid out redemptions to shareholding members on three occasions in its history.