Team building can be a powerful way for colleagues to socialize, build trust, develop strengths, and work on weaknesses.
But that doesn’t mean you have to take part in trust exercises in a stuffy boardroom once every quarter.
With a variety of activities to choose from and corporate and group options tailored to suit parties of any size, there are tons of ways to think outside the box when it comes to your next team outing.
So pick up a paddle and bring your skills of deduction, because we’ve rounded up the best ways to build a team.
Trying to escape from the same room as your colleagues may seem like the usual 9-to-5 drill. But throw in some clues, a few combination locks, and an hourglass, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate team-building exercise. Captive on Elm and Real Escape Game in the Foundery building on Bathurst are just two of the escape rooms on offer.
Whether you’re looking for a simple icing job or full-blown cake haute couture (yes, that’s a thing), you’ll find it in Toronto. Le Dolci have lots of team options, including an Iron Cup Cake challenge and Chef’s Movie Dinner challenge if you’re looking for some fast-paced inter-office baking.
Of course, team building doesn’t have to be a dry affair. Go back to bartending school and take a cocktail and martini workshop at the Toronto Institute of Bartending on Adelaide, or learn how to shake your drink with flair at Bartender One on King Street.
Choose from a historical, cultural or culinary scavenger hunt around the city with Urban Capers as you run around Toronto answering tricky and humorous trivia questions along the way. There are eight capers to pick from, including Murder at the ROM and Haunted Toronto.
Watched too much Making a Murderer and listened to too much Serial and now you think you can solve cold cases that were closed years ago? Put your sleuthing skills to the test at one of the city’s murder mystery parties. Terry Shane Murder Mysteries offer personalized team-building activities as well as scripted pieces that will come to your venue of choice.
Toronto Food Tour
If you like food to be central to any post-work activity you do, book one of the many Foodies on Foot tours. From picnics in the park to street food and 501 streetcar expeditions, the event planners create tasty trips for groups that explore Toronto’s best eats.
If you fancy a walk on the wild (and windy) side, the CN Tower Edge Walk is a trust fall with a – you guessed it – edge. Opening for the season on April 11, there will be some night walk sessions available for a post-work adventure. It’s not cheap, but it’s a great way to reward an employee (or uniquely dismiss them).
Next time you’re organizing an after-work meal, give Pizza Hut a miss. Instead, go back in time, dine like royalty, and have the knight of your life by taking in some jousting at Medieval Times. And unlike the Middle Ages, there’s even a vegetarian option.
Segway of Ontario have lots of different tour options for teams of all sizes, but if you’re a group of 15 or more, you might want to try out their segway relay tour to add some friendly competition to your work outing. Plus, it’s open all winter for the very brave.
Understandably, this isn’t a downtown affair – but if you can get out of the city’s core, Treetop Trekking in Brampton is a great place to plan an exhilarating staff trip. There are night treks, zipline and aerial courses to try, as well as team-building activities for corporate events.
Just because you’re a dab hand at Instagram doesn’t mean you’re immune to the benefits of a GTA Photography lesson. From beginner to pro, you can take your team on a tour of Toronto to snap all the city has to offer. Choose from Kensington Market, Old Toronto, Queen West and Yorkville/ROM.
If blasting small plastic balls at your co-workers sounds like your idea of fun, then SPiN is a great place to hang out after work. And since “Age, Gender and Skill are all irrelevant in the social world of ping-pong,” all members of the team can grab a paddle and have a great time.
Describing itself as “10,000 square feet of awesome,” Pursuit OCR is a new indoor playground for adults. With 19 obstacles, including an adult ball pit, this obstacle course racing venue can be hired for group and corporate events, and a team leader can help facilitate races and games.
Glow-in-the-dark Miniature Golf
Those who say that golf is a good walk spoiled have obviously never tried the indoor mini version. These glow-in-the-dark courses offer 3D obstacles in a variety of themes, complete with music. And the best part is, you don’t have to be a kid. Try Putting Edge in Richmond Hill or RINX at North York.