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When they’re not filming dances for TikTok, here’s where viral sensations Basement Gang hang out in their hometown.

A social insider’s guide to Mississauga’s Friday night spots

When they're not filming dances for TikTok, here's where viral sensations Basement Gang hang out in their hometown.

(From left) Nathaniel James, Kadeem Hemmings and Nicholas McDonald shoot hoops at the Rec Room at Square One.


Nathaniel James, Kadeem Hemmings and Nicholas McDonald, better known on TikTok as Basement Gang, have brought joy to millions over the past few years with their energetic and seemingly spontaneous dances that they film from McDonald’s basement in Mississauga.

When they aren’t dancing, they’re bringing that same joyful energy to activities around the city.

“We love to compete with each other,” says Hemmings, and the Rec Room at Square One is the perfect venue for some friendly competition. “Usually we’ll start off playing arcade games, then move over to ping pong or bowling.” With 44,000 square feet of fun and food, there’s no shortage of entertainment to be had.

“They also have axe throwing and some virtual reality experiences. And you get prizes at the end,” James says, adding that it’s also a great place for a first date.

A little friendly competition - like they get up to at the Rec Room - is an essential part of Basement Gang's perfect Friday night.


You’re just as likely to catch the trio knocking down pins at Classic Bowl. It’s a quintessential 10-pin bowling alley most days, but things get other-worldly on weekend nights. “They offer Cosmic Bowling on Friday and Saturday nights, which is glow in the dark bowling,” Hemmings says. “It’s super fun to go with friends or to take a date there.” On occasion the bowling alley even brings in live DJs and bands for concerts.

Mirage VR, however, is their new favourite. “We’re pretty big gamers,” says Hemmings. “If you’re into video games like we are, it’s a great spot to go.”

The experience puts you inside a video game. Wearing VR headsets in a cavernous room, you and your friends are immersed in an animated world and must work together to navigate the game. There are more than 50 gaming genres to choose from, including a fantasy world in a magical forest and a dancing competition, but the members of Basement Gang prefer the zombie survival game.

“You can have up to 16 people in the room all playing the same game. It’s exciting cooperating with your friends as you navigate the game,” McDonald says.

When they want to get outside, they head to Kariya Park in the downtown’s Fairview neighbourhood, a Japanese garden named for Mississauga’s sister city in Japan. You’ll find examples of Japanese architecture among the winding walkways.

“It’s really nice for picnics in the summers. There’s a cute little duck pond and they have beautiful cherry blossom trees,” says McDonald. “We’ve been wanting to travel to Japan for a long time and the Japanese inspiration of the cherry blossoms always makes us feel closer to that place.”

To fuel their fun, their favourites include Rosie’s Burgers in Port Credit on the waterfront of Lake Ontario. The store has a fun, vintage vibe that matches their old-school approach to burgers. “I go there all the time” says James. “It’s my favourite smash burger in Mississauga. It’s in a really nice area, especially during the summer.” His go-to order: a double cheeseburger with fries. And given its scenic location, he recommends a walk along the water after.

Basement Gang at Rosie's, home to "Mississauga's best smash burgers," according to James.


Dav’s Hotspot is another group go-to. The menu is filled with Caribbean-influenced comfort food options, and the gang recommend a couple dishes in particular. “They specialize in mac and cheese and chicken wings, but their showstopper is their secret sauce,” James shares. Their favourite meal is the loaded mac and cheese, which comes topped with BBQ wings, shrimp and the secret sauce. “The restaurant is a must try!” he says.

For something sweet, head to Mr. Puffs, a newer dessert spot in the city that’s already drawing crowds. “Every time I go, there’s a line out the door,” McDonald says. The draw: deep-fried dough balls coated in all sorts of delectable toppings – cinnamon sugar, salted caramel, Oreo.

All three say Oreo is their favourite. “They’re all really good though,” McDonald says.

“There are a lot of things to do here that you wouldn’t expect to be in Mississauga,” says Hemmings. “The city is bigger than you think. From the lakeshore to Meadowvale to Square One, there are so many different places to go and you’ll always find new things to do.”


Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with Tourism Mississauga. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

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