a peek inside the fishbowl

06 Dec, 2011

Welcome to our newest patron: Ikea

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Fishbowl patrons

I’m very pleased to welcome a new patron to the Fishbowl today… Ikea!

Monday night I had the opportunity (along with about 200 other friends and media types) to attend a sneak preview of the new Ikea opening here in Ottawa and it totally surpassed all of my expectations.

A view inside the new Ikea in Ottawa

They are officially opening to the public on Wednesday. They’re expecting 13,500+ people to walk through the doors that first day (which is why I’m going to wait at least a week before attempting a return visit), and I totally understand why. There is, after all, plenty to be excited about.

Ottawa is moving up. The old store was the world’s smallest IKEA, and the new one is now it’s Canada’s largest at a whopping 427,000 square feet. The new Ottawa IKEA carries the full range of 9,500 IKEA products, as well as 55 inspirational room settings, 28 creative kitchen concepts and three full house displays.

So yeah. It’s big.


Question: how many elephants could you fit inside the new Ikea?

Answer: a lot. (All kidding aside, if someone could answer this for me I would really appreciate it.)

Elephants at the Ottawa Ikea

Some points of interest:

There are 640 seats at the new restaurant. Here’s a peek at what the eating (and lounging!) areas look like:

Another view of the eating area

Cool hipster lounge area

The cafeteria at the new Ottawa Ikea

As I mentioned, there are 55 room settings, and couches as far as the eye can see:

Couches as far as the eye can see

There are three complete mini-homes within the new Ikea, an excellent way to visualize small spaces:

A home within a store

There are 36 cash lanes (yay!), and 1,200 parking spaces… 600 of which are sheltered (and the bike racks are there too!):

Bike rack at the new Ikea in Ottawa

There’s a a bigger and better child care area and ball room. I would love to try it out. Even for five minutes.

The much-anticipated ball room at the Ottawa Ikea

I have always loved the children’s section. This one is even bigger:

A room in the children's section at the new Ottawa Ikea

… and so is their kitchen planning centre. And there are even more great kitchen concepts (be still my beating heart) than ever before:

Kitchen planning hub at the new Ottawa Ikea

Another great Ikea kitchen

The Ikea kitchen of my dreams!

And the building is 40 per cent more energy efficient than the last store (which was built in 2004). I think that’s pretty cool.

So yes. Exciting stuff for Ottawa! Will you be checking out the new Ikea? :)


16 Responses to "Welcome to our newest patron: Ikea"

1 | Ginger

December 6th, 2011 at 11:32 pm


No way! What a cool sponsor!!! Love Ikea and I am so glad they have one in North Texas!

2 | Alison in Ottawa

December 7th, 2011 at 5:27 am


If they are predicting the crowds for today – opening day, I would like to know the predictions for the next few days so I can decide when to go see it…. likely I will wait about a week as well to avoid insanity but Christmas means that it is already very busy

3 | Krista R

December 7th, 2011 at 6:12 am


I am looking forward to checking it out but I’m going to wait until january when the hubub dies down a bit.

4 | Wendy [mapsgirl]

December 7th, 2011 at 7:34 am


Hmm….I’ll definitely be checking that out on my next trip to Ottawa.

Our Ikea in Burlington is nice, but to say I’ve been in the biggest would be pretty cool.

5 | Judy Baltare

December 7th, 2011 at 9:12 am


I live not far from the Giant Ikea (not a fan) and was driving down Iris Street yesterday to be slapped in the face with a girant IKEA sign on the east wall of the builing (not pretty). I would like to hear from the homeowners on Iris who now look out their living windows at this monster wall. How about their property values? HOw have they been treated by IKEA through all the construction mess. BTW I’m told by a friend who was part of the private function that it is huge but there are no products just more of the same.

6 | kaitlin

December 7th, 2011 at 11:12 am


Judy, I can’t speak to either of your first two points, but I can confirm from former colleagues that the range of the products sold at the new Ikea has more than doubled. For example, Ikea in Ottawa never sold bulk fabric, and now does. They have added to all of their product lines and I have been told that they are now carrying all of their Canadian products in the new store.

7 | Martin Settle

December 7th, 2011 at 11:44 am


Wonder how much flatpack furniture I’ll be able to carry on my bike!

8 | David

December 7th, 2011 at 2:24 pm


Maybe it is my male perspective, but I could not care less about a new IKEA! lol

However – your call to action in this post was very interesting :

The average elephant is approx. 4 cubic metres.
I’m taking an unscientific, and somewhat mathematical approach to guessing the volume of the new store at 400,000m3.

Which would place 100 000 elephants in the new store!

Now you’ve got my interest!

9 | James

December 7th, 2011 at 9:00 pm


Yes, Ottawa is a might boring in early December, and the Swedish giant has a mighty PR machine. A front-page story for the past two weeks in The Citizen is one thing, but Fishbowl???

10 | Nolie

December 7th, 2011 at 9:34 pm


I really want to check it out and we really need a new couch. My back and butt hurt all the time on my current couch. However with the excitement and Christmas I am really scared of the ikea crowds. Also past time we went my son cried as he couldn’t go to the play area as it was an hour wait. I don’t want to shop ikea with a upset child again.

11 | Katie

December 8th, 2011 at 8:45 am


This could make a good day trip. I hope I do not find it too big. Walking 5mins across the grocery store to get butter is often irritating to me! If I remember correctly, IKEA used to have shortcuts to avoid sections and cut down on the walk.

12 | Kathleen

December 8th, 2011 at 9:12 pm


Judy Baltare, that is a really good point.

What is the traffic going to be like for residents in the immediate Ikea neighbourhood? Is that enormous new building going to contribute to a more walkable or bikeable neighbourhood?

I live in Hintonburg, not far from the convent that is now being redeveloped into condos and I know there was a giant uproar around here when a new development was going in that would contribute to traffic in the neighbourhood and didn’t consider the existing residential neighbours.

Likewise, when a 36 storey tower was being proposed for our neighbourhood, just beside a park, a market and a street that leads to the Queensway that is already full of traffic all the time, we really didn’t like the idea.

Why are condos awful and giant shopping centres (full of lots of stuff that most of us don’t need) exciting?


13 | binki

December 9th, 2011 at 2:17 pm


So…how is it? We know it’s BIG but is it Good Big? Or Vile Big?

Last week I was driving on the Queensway and noticed that they had started to put up the huge letters for the IKEA wording on the east side of the store. They had only put up two letters. I and K. I thought to myself, I hope it isn’t IK. I actually like shopping at Ikea but I’m not a fan of JUMBO stores. I don’t ever go to the Superstore on in Westboro. It’s just way too big.

14 | andrea

December 9th, 2011 at 4:48 pm


Thank you for your calculations David!

Many of you have probably heard that opening day crowds were much smaller than originally predicted. I am planning on paying a proper visit next week and getting a bit of shopping done.

Binki, it’s BIG, but whether it’s too big or not depends on your POV. I appreciate the fact that they’ve practically doubled their inventory. That means more selection for me. I plan on making a family outing out of it… loading up on coffee and cinnamon buns beforehand. :)

15 | Roshan

December 10th, 2011 at 9:27 am


Amazingly lovely stuff right? I could just stay there.

16 | Nora B

December 12th, 2011 at 7:50 pm


Do they carry fabric? I hope so. That would get me in the door.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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