Ottawa's first mobile 'smash room' helping take the edge off during COVID-19
Algonquin College student Rebecca Laforce gets ready to smash a dish at the Vengeance Van. (Shaun Vardon/CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- With COVID-19 restrictions adding stress to everyone’s life, now there is a new way to find relief in the capital.
The Vengeance Van is patrolling the streets of Ottawa, offering a chance for people to take out their frustrations with a baseball bat.
Like many, Algonquin College student Rebecca Laforce has been feeling the strain of taking classes during a pandemic. She has been stressed out and needed some relief, so she called the Vengeance Van.
“I feel like when you are stressed out all the time we tend to just ignore the fact that we are stressed,” Laforce said. We just try to get through it and whatever we need for the day.”
The van, the first of its kind, is a mobile smash room that gives people the opportunity to break objects with baseball bats, golf clubs and crowbars. A 30-minute session for up to four people is $100 and if you have a special item you want to take your frustrations out on, you are welcome to bring it.
The mobile smash room, which started in August, is the brainchild of Ottawa entrepreneur Brendan Walker. When he was forced to close his brick-and-mortar smash room due to COVID-19, found a unique way to keep his business going.
“Initially it was a bit of an experiment. you never really know what you are going to get into with something brand new but the response was immediate,” Walker said. “You don’t have to be an angry person to enjoy this, anybody can just let loose and relieve some stress and get a workout.”
The van is unique to Ottawa and according to Walker, the world. He is proud of his new business and is already in talks to franchise it.
After her 30-minute session, Laforce says she will be back again.
“It’s nice to be able to walk outside and do it and not have to worry about going somewhere and worry about how many people have been there or might be there,” Laforce said. “Especially with the world as it is right now, any pent-up aggression you have, this is a very healthy and good way to get rid of it. It’s just us and the guy and we are at a safe distance.
“It’s really great.”