Porsche today announced that the Greater Toronto Area suburb of Pickering, Ont., is to be the site of the first Canadian location of its Porsche Experience Centre. It will be the 10th example worldwide of the brand’s immersive test-drive complex when it opens about two years from now.
The automaker says the Pickering Porsche Experience Centre will be the first “urban” (Porsche’s quotation marks) example of the concept when it comes to the Durham Live commercial/entertainment development.
Durham Live – currently the site of a casino next to Ontario’s Highway 401 – will eventually also be home to a concert venue, a luxury hotel, restaurants, and 400,000 square feet of retail space. Porsche says its drive centre will help make the complex a "domestic and international tourist destination."
The newest Porsche Experience Centre will occupy 20 acres of land at the retail megaplex and feature a two-kilometre racetrack where prospective buyers and other sports car enthusiasts will be able to drive the brand’s vehicles with a Porsche driving instructor in the passenger seat. Other attractions will include a historic vehicle exhibition, a café, and a Porsche merch shop.
This is Porsche's latest nod to its Canadian fan base; in 2017, it began offering Canada's first Sport Driving School at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park near Bowmanville, Ont., and the company runs its Ice Experience winter driving course in Esterel, Que.
The first Porsche Experience Centre opened in 2008 at the U.K.’s Silverstone race circuit; since then, eight other similar facilities have been built in Germany, the United States, France, Italy, Japan, and China.
Porsche says it expects the Pickering Porsche Experience Centre to be open for business by 2024.