From historic to hip-storic
24 West Lofts has reinvented an old downtown Pembroke space from historic to hip-storic.
An aerial and paddleboard yoga studio, a photography creative design studio, and an escape games room.
These are businesses you’d likely find in an urban city like Ottawa or Toronto, but recently they’ve become the hip new faces of Pembroke’s historic downtown (at 24 Pembroke Street West), beside The Nook Creperie.
While all three businesses have been open for business for several months, it was on July 5 that the City of Pembroke joined the new business owners to officially celebrate their grand openings in a joint ceremony.
Representing both the City of Pembroke and MP Cheryl Gallant, City of Pembroke councillor Christine Reavie joined in welcoming AWE Yoga, 42 Fringe and Chamber of Secrets to Downtown Pembroke.
“We've got these three vibrant, beautiful businesses that have opened together and it's just so exciting. I’m so happy for the owners and wish them ultimate success as does the entire city council and the City of Pembroke,” said Reavie.
42 Fringe, originally named Ottawa Valley Studios, was the first of the three businesses to open shop in September 2017.
Composed of a team of creative professionals, the business offers services in photography, videography, audio, professional writing, and graphic design.
“With Ottawa Valley Studios we were mostly individual business owners who had their own practices but now we’ve merged into one big creative agency which is why we went with the name change,” said 42 Fringe’s Brandy Wright. The 42 is a nod to some cult classics from Douglas Adams for anyone that knows that and Fringe is for the idea that we want to be on the cutting edge and on the outside of just pushing our boundaries to make sure that we're offering people the best of what we can get for their businesses.”
Ryan Schmidt echoed Right’s sentiments and said that it’s amazing to finally be celebrating the loft's opening with fellow small business owners.
“A lot of our clients will actually go to AWE Yoga and a lot of AWE Yoga clients will go to Chamber of Secrets, so it's a good rotation of people using each others' businesses and it's a good cohesive environment,” said Schmidt.
AWE Yoga, formerly located in the Pembroke Mall, moved into 24 West Lofts in October 2017.
Co-owners Michelle Renaud and Erin Norris couldn’t be happier with their beautiful space in the newly renovated loft within Downtown Pembroke.
“We love the community downtown, everybody has been very welcoming and it's been awesome – more than we could have hoped for,” said Renaud.
The final business to join the 24 West Loft neighbourhood was Chamber of Secrets Escape Rooms.
After visiting an escape room in Ottawa with his daughter, owner Stephane Leclair had the grand idea to bring the fun experience to the Ottawa Valley. After six months of planning, Leclair opened shop in 24 West Lofts in November 2017, and he said that it was one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
Along with offering the indoor escape rooms, Chamber of Secrets recently unveiled their Feet to the Fire outdoor experience which is one of the first outdoor escape adventure in all of North America. Based on actual historic events of Pembroke’s Great Fire of 1918, the adventure takes participants on a journey through Downtown Pembroke as they search for clues before the time runs out.
“I think this is very rare and Pembroke kind of has bragging rights at having one of the very first outdoor Escape Games in all of Canada and all of North America,” said Leclair.
Feet to the Fire officially opened on July 5 and will be available for bookings Tuesday through Sunday this summer, as well as certain dates in the fall.