There we were, sitting and enjoying a lovely dinner, having just completed 4 separate escape rooms in one day, reeling from the excitement and energy it brought out. For those who have done an escape room before, you’ll know precisely the energy I’m referring to. For those unfamiliar with the intoxicating and addictive Art of the Escape, allow me to be the first to tell you: It’s awesome.

There are many ways to celebrate a milestone birthday. Whether it’s a stay at home pizza party, a trip to the bowling alley with a dozen of your closest friends, or an all-out trip to France for two, ringing in those special years is a way to not only celebrate how far we’ve come, they also play a major role in defining what will come next. The story I’m going to share with you now is about four friends who got together to celebrate one such milestone.

However, instead of trying to come out of a 7-10 split, they opted to set out on a full day of escape room adventures; a series of challenges intended to test their wit and skill and reward them with a sense of accomplishment and unparalleled fun. Not one of this story’s heroes, however, could have predicted that the day would end with a decision that would forever change their lives.

“You know”, Jeff said casually between bites at the all you can eat, nothing but meat, sword-wielding, Brazilian dining establishment. “We should totally do this ourselves.”


And for a few brief, not quite awkward but still noticeably extended moments in time, no one said anything.


“What do you mean?” Jason finally asked, breaking the silence.


“Start our own escape room business.”


And that’s all it took. From there the whole thing seemed to spiral into an hour-long, then month-long, then suddenly year-long conversation in which one simple sentence, one memorable birthday outing and one group of friends went from eager enthusiasts, to entrepreneurs.

Before I delve too far ahead into this story, let me first introduce the crew, so that when I say “we” you know to whom I am referring.

First up, meet Dave, The Birthday Boy in this particular story. Why, without him, there would have been nothing to celebrate on that fateful day and our lives would likely have continued in standard fashion, without the excitement of becoming business owners. Thank you, Dave, primarily for being born, and for continuing to celebrate that fact every year.

Next, we have Jason, the guy who put forth the idea for the whole ‘day of escapes’ as a birthday party; the guy who, had he not spoken up, would have found us celebrating with just another boring bowling pizza party in France. Merci Jason. Beaucoup, beaucoup.

And, of course, we have Jeff, who I will identify as the catalyst for moving this whole thing forward from concept/idea, to “Holy moly, we’re actually doing this!”. We like Jeff. You should like Jeff too; and every one of us needs to appreciate him for bringing Complex Rooms to the rest of the world.

Last, there’s Phil, that’s me! It’s difficult to write witty and overly positive words about yourself without coming off as conceited or sounding like a cover letter, so let me just say instead that, without me, this blog post wouldn’t be here. I’m also the brother of The Birthday Boy, and surely, that counts for something.

Collectively we are a group who challenges each other to be better, try harder, think enthusiastically, act conscientiously, represent ourselves as parents and respect each other as mindful and responsible business owners, colleagues, friends and family.


We are creating youth and family friendly environments. A place to bring your co-workers, your fellow camp councillors, your mom and dad, your cosplay comrades, life-long friends or your soon-to-be fiancée.


We are more than just ‘escape rooms’ or ‘puzzle rooms’, we are setting forth to create genre-defying, fun and entertaining challenges that facilitate team based learning in a fully immersive and engaging physical environment. We are creating something a little more…Complex.

Keep checking back for updates on our space, our plans, our rooms, and us. There is so much more still to share!