Featured Official Tournament Store (OTS)
Great Canadian Games & Hobbies
1410 Lasalle Blvd
We hope you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe. As circumstances continue to evolve regarding COVID-19, please remain up-to-date on any new restrictions that may be imposed on store closures. We want to prioritize the safety and well-being of our communities, and encourage Duelists to contact your OTS about their hours and safety policies, and remember to follow all guidelines.
Great Canadian Games & Hobbies is our first Featured Official Tournament Store (OTS) of 2021! Great Canadian Games & Hobbies in Greater Sudbury, ON was founded by Brian Vanclieaf in the early 1990’s and just recently came under new ownership. But the spirit of the store never changed, and it remains a store where gamers and hobby enthusiasts can feel at home.
Coming from a corporate background, Brian had always been passionate about hobbies and collecting. One day, he decided to follow his dream that so many other people share – he gave up his corporate job and its associated lifestyle to open and own a card store. That’s when Great Canadian Games & Hobbies was born. Brian originally opened up Great Canadian Games & Hobbies as a sports card store, and it gradually evolved. It soon began carrying collectible card games like the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME and expanded into selling board games and miniatures.
Fast forward over two decades, and Brian has decided to retire. And thanks to Kyle Gascoigne and Michael Morelli, he can do so with no worries bout the community, nor the legacy of his store. Kyle and Michael were regular customers and decided to join forces and purchase the store. Kyle had been a patron of the store for over 15 years, and worked there for the past 8 years, while Michael had been a patron of Great Canadian Games & Hobbies for 30 years, since he was 10 years old. Both of them had a great relationship with the original owner, Brian, and he trusted them to continue his legacy. Like Brian, both Kyle and Michael are hobby enthusiasts and are passionate about card collecting.
Kyle and Michael take pride in the Yu-Gi-Oh! community they helped to grow. Their players span a large range of ages. Kids as young as 8 years old, as well as adults in their 40’s, have enjoyed Dueling at Great Canadian Games & Hobbies, although the majority of the players are in their early 20’s.
New players are always welcomed into their store too. Kyle and Michael donate cards to local schools that have Yu-Gi-Oh! clubs to help build interest in the game. “The store has been around for a long time and has a name, so players know to come in if they’re interested,” Kyle said. “Then, they get involved with the community and keep coming back. It’s all built on the players. They make friends and continue to come back for more of those positive experiences.”
"Then, [the players] get involved with the community and keep coming back. It’s all built on the players. They make friends and continue to come back for more of those positive experiences.”"
- Kyle Gascoigne, owner
Unfortunately at the time of writing, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its city is currently in lockdown, so Great Canadian Games & Hobbies has only able to make sales through curbside pickup and is not currently running events - and hasn’t in a while. But Kyle and Michael are making the best of the situation! They’re using this time during which they’re closed to the public, to renovate the store and improve the gaming experience for when players return. They’ve also expanded the store by acquiring an adjacent property that they’re in the process of transforming into a play area for tournaments once they can be safely held again. This adds 1,000 square feet of space to their store for tournaments. That being said, with the renovation nearly complete, Great Canadian Games & Hobbies is excited to start offering Remote Duels and is looking forward to finally offering sanctioned tournaments again to their player base.
Despite their closure, Kyle and Michael are optimistic about their business. “On the whole, I think our customer base has grown,” Kyle said. “People aren’t eating out or traveling, so their entertainment dollars are going somewhere else.” He also noticed an increased number of players entering the game. “People are introducing other players to the game so that they can play within their bubble,” he said. Kyle recalls one person buying several Speed Duel Decks to use for teaching his friends how to play. The Lost Art Promotion and recent OTS Packs have been extremely helpful to their business as well. Kyle and Michael say that they have customers who come in on the day that the Lost Art promos are delivered to their store and buy product just to get a promo card.
When asked what advice they would give to other OTS stores, Kyle and Michael’s recommendation was clear: “Remember that it’s all about building community. Sales are fine, but keeping a nice place to play is key. It’s the stories players have from playing over and over again that keep them interested and get new players interested.”
If you’re in the area of Greater Sudbury, ON, be sure to visit the Featured OTS of January 2021: Great Canadian Games & Hobbies!