You can help put together a 42,000-piece jigsaw puzzle in Fergus, Ont.
Toy store owner says people come from across the GTA to work on massive puzzle
Jigsaw puzzles can be fun, even calming for some — but at a Fergus, Ont. toy store, it'll take a rotating crew of die-hard puzzlers to complete a humongous new game.
Educa's "Around the World" is described as one of the world's largest jigsaw puzzles available for sale. It's seven metres long, more than a metre tall and includes 42,000 pieces.
Evelyn Gould, the owner of Jester's Fun Factory, says if you have the time, inclination and good manual dexterity, you can help put it together.
"It's kinda cool because one of the very first landmarks is the CN Tower, so we're starting in Canada and we're going to go on a trip around the world by the time we're done," Gould explained to Wei Chen, the host of CBC's Ontario Morning.
Back in 2016, Gould tackled a 33,000-piece puzzle, which is now mounted on the store's ceiling. She says there was such an amazing response from the community, she knew the store had to take on a bigger one.
"People were coming from all over the place that wanted to be a part of it. Some of those people that did come became really good friends. It was really neat to see those friendships form, too," she said.
Gould says putting together a puzzle of this magnitude takes some serious organizational skills, especially when you're encouraging anyone and everyone to come lend a hand. It's not as simple as just reaching in the box, pulling out a puzzle piece and trying to figure out where it fits.
Instead, the pieces come in bags of 6,000, which are sorted by colour so it's not so overwhelming for people. The puzzle is then assembled in panels, or more manageable chunks.
So how does it work when you have random people stopping by the store to help build a giant puzzle? Gould says it's interesting to watch people get in "the zone."
"It's a little bit quieter, and we encourage people to look at what other people are doing so that if you come across a piece that belongs to them you kind of toss it over their way. It's really interesting to watch them."
Big game attracting 'die hard' puzzlers
She says there's nothing more satisfying than watching an image start to take form, but taking on a puzzle of this size takes good strategy and different techniques.
"Shape is really important too, and understanding that all of the pieces are going to go in a vertical section versus a horizontal section. You start to learn to turn your pieces a certain way and you look for little pattern details."
The last giant puzzle they completed was done in just over four months.
Gould says even though this one is nearly two metres longer, she anticipates it will be complete in the same amount of time because they've attracted so many more "die hard" puzzlers this time around.