The options for buying expensive furniture are endless in Toronto’s downtown core: A $4,000 futon from West Elm here, a $700 mirror from CB2 there… you could furnish your entire living room in a single afternoon, if only you had the extra cash.
Ironically, most young people living in neighbourhoods where stores like these exist can’t afford to drop $2,500 on a single chair.
We pay that much per month in rent for a tiny one-bedroom condo instead.
Ikea, with its affordable, minimalist wares, is a saving grace for legions of urbanites needing to deck out their 600-square-foot sky boxes on the cheap.
It’s also near-impossible to get to one in Toronto without a car (or a car-driving friend who’s willing to sacrifice a Saturday).
The Swedish retail giant has four massive locations in the GTA: One in Etobicoke, one in Vaughan, one in North York and one in Burlington. It takes well over an hour to get to any of them from downtown Toronto by public transit, and even longer with a haul of housewares in tow. (Trust me. I know from experience.)
As more and more millennial abandon their cars in favour of living near work, the journey has become too much for busy young urban professionals to handle — and Ikea knows it.
Thus, to better serve the changing needs of its customers (those who don’t want to shop online, pay for delivery, and then wait at home all day for their packages to arrive), Ikea is moving into the downtown core.
The Canadian Press reports that Ikea Canada plans to open a “smaller, downtown store format” in Toronto sometime over the next two years.
A handful of these smaller format shops already exist in such cities as New York and Madrid, with more slated to come, but Toronto’s downtown Ikea will be the first of its kind in Canada.
“We’re moving with customers and one part of that is that we want to penetrate the big cities,” said Ikea Canada president Michael Ward to CP in a piece published Wednesday, noting that “there’s a very good chance” Toronto will get more than one of these mini-Ikeas.
No firm details have yet been announced regarding a location or an opening date, but condo-dwellers can no doubt look forward to a day when picking up new sheets at Ikea is as easy as buying artisan cheese.