new ikea downtown toronto

Hundreds of people line up for opening of new IKEA in downtown Toronto

It's been more than two-and-a-half years since IKEA revealed that it would be opening a new store in downtown Toronto, thrilling fans of the Swedish retail giant (and its cheap meatballs) with promises of a unique "urban format," the first of its kind in Canada.

So what's a few more hours of waiting, really?

Yes, as they say, some Torontonians really will line up for anything — especially when the words "grand opening" are in play.

Whether eager to score exclusive day one discounts, excited to see what an "urban format" looks like, or simply to say they were among this hot new store's first-ever customers, hundreds of people showed up at College Park this morning to behold Toronto's new IKEA.

As would be expected, they lined up down the block to wait patiently for the privilege of purchasing well-priced housewares.

It's relatively common in Toronto for people to wait in line for hours to buy ice cream (you know who you are, you sidewalk-clogging f*cks,) but an IKEA? That's... well, that's a bit new.

Fortunately, the City of Toronto was prepared to handle crowds.

"People in Toronto love to line up. What exactly do you need to line up for? You could LITERALLY take a train or a bus to the other 3 IKEA locations in Toronto and walk in quicker than waiting in line for this location," commented one Twitter user of the queue.

"Why the f*ck would you waste your time standing in a line THAT LONG or even AROUND for an ikea. A f*cking ikea?" wrote another. "These people need a reality check."

What naysayers may not have known when tweeting their disdain is that IKEA was giving out free gift cards to the first 300 customers.

But surely some people simply wanted to see the buzzy new store on the first two floors of the Aura building at College Park.

Some hardcore fans were thrilled with the store's smaller format, which focuses on small space living solutions more reflective of urban life.

IKEA already has four massive locations in the GTA: One in Etobicoke, one in Vaughan, one in North York and one in Burlington, but it takes well over an hour to get to any of them from downtown Toronto by public transit.

The brand's first downtown Toronto location is smaller than the aforementioned big boxes, combining the showroom area and market hall into one.

Large items like beds and couches aren't stored at this IKEA; rather, you can view furniture and then have what you like delivered right to your house (or pick it up from another location, if that makes sense to you).

There are still plenty of smaller items in stock, however, with more than 2,000 products available to purchase. And yes, they have meatballs.

The new IKEA at 382 Yonge Street (formerly a Bed, Bath & Beyond) has a new food concept on-site called "the Swedish Deli." Here, you'll find both traditional Swedish eats and modern, healthy options, all for an attractive price.

If you want to check it out ASAP and can't wait for the lines to die down, IKEA has set up a virtual queue on its website.

"During opening week, IKEA Canada is committed to providing a safe and easy visit for its customers by using a digital queuing system," reads the site. "Customers are encouraged to secure a place in line before opening day at IKEA Toronto Downtown – Aura, since walk-ups are not guaranteed a place in line."

Ha så kul!

Lead photo by

Briana-Lynn Brieiro


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