Improbable Escapes Backstory

Improbable Escapes opened its doors to the City of Kingston on July 1st, 2015. Emma Rochon and Melissa Eapen set out with a specific goal: to create a business that would bring a smile to the face of anyone who entered! After working in the industry for one year, Emma and Melissa quickly decided to pack up everything and move to Kingston. Kingston was the perfect place for an escape room business because of its size, the thriving downtown core, and the large student demographic.

Opening up the business did not come easy for the two. The first few months of business were spent living inside their retail store, painting throughout the day and dancing along to songs to keep themselves sane. Luckily enough, the first commercial space opened by Improbable Escapes at 298 Bagot Street was originally a call centre and a doctor’s office, both of which have numerous small rooms built in. This gave Emma and Melissa the flexibility to create multi-room escapes. After their first year, Improbable Escapes moved to 303 Bagot Street (LaSalle Mews), to expand to a new space that is over 5 times the size of their first. With about six years of business and creating 50+ escape rooms under their belt, Improbable Escapes has become the “go-to” fun thing to do in Kingston. It’s even ranked #1 for fun things to do in Kingston on TripAdvisor!

A huge focus for Improbable Escapes, is their involvement in museums and historic sites. Starting off as a passion project, Improbable Escapes first started by creating an escape room experience at Fort Henry National Historic Site. Since, they’ve had games in partnership with St.Lawrence Parks Commission, Parks Canada, Canadian Forces, Department of National Defense, and more.

With the introduction of their second location in 2019 (Improbable Escapes: Wonderland), the original Improbable Escapes downtown location was rebranded to Improbable Escapes HQ. Improbable Escapes has since grown internationally, with games all over the world at various escape room facilities. During recent COVID-19 related shut-downs, international players were able to play games at the flagship Improbable Escapes locations, resulting in international press coverage and awards.

Currently, Improbable Escapes has two brick and mortar escape room locations, a board game shop and a board game cafe. The Improbable Escapes team looks forward to growing in the years to come!

Company Ethos and Values

  1. Passion: Passion is at the heart of what we do. We are motivated to continuously innovate and improve.
  2. Diversity: We succeed because people with different ideas, strengths, interests, and cultural backgrounds come together to create incredible experiences.
  3. Respect: We strive to show a deep respect for humans both inside and outside our company.
  4. Authenticity: We will always “be real” with our team and customers.
  5. Integrity: We aim to be open, honest, ethical, and fair. We believe in equality and eliminating discrimination.

Company Highlights

  • Women owned & lead
  • Owners lecture on gamification in the escape room industry
  • Recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Marketing and Communications Award by Downtown Kingston! Business Improvement Area
  • Recipient of the 2018 Tourism and Hospitality Award by Kingston Chamber of Commerce
  • Recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence: 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Recipient of Escape Authority’s 2020 Best Family Brand Award (Silver)
  • Recipient of Escape Authority’s 2020 Best Remote Play International Award (Silver)
  • Recipient of Room Escape Artist’s 2020 Golden Lock Award
  • Recipient of EscapeTheRoomer’s 2020 Best Overall “Remote Escape” of the Year
  • Rated the #1 Fun Thing to Do in Kingston, according to TripAdvisor
  • Featured in the New York Times
  • Featured in the Toronto Star
  • Featured in Narcity
  • Featured on CTV’s The Social