Ottawa Ikea opens to public

A weekday morning grand opening might have limited the number of shoppers that lined up Wednesday for Ikea's new Ottawa store.
About 350 Ikea shoppers lined up outside the new store before its 9 a.m. opening. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

About 350 people lined up in front of Ottawa's brand new Ikea store as of just before doors opened around 9 a.m., a smaller number than expected for the opening Wednesday.

The giant store, now the largest in Canada, is two storeys and just hundreds of metres from its smaller Pinecrest Mall location.

Some shoppers lined up overnight including David White, who set up shop as early as 1 p.m. Tuesday. White said waiting in a long line was on his bucket list.

More shoppers flowed in and the first 500 received free gift cards.

David White lined up for about 20 hours for the grand opening of Ottawa's new Ikea store. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

A number of police officers were on hand to make sure all shoppers remained calm as Ikea staff held thundersticks to pump up shoppers.

Traffic in both the parking lot and along side streets has been running smoothly as the ribbon-cutting ceremony was set for 8:30 a.m. Electronic message boards were also placed along the Queensway to warn of any traffic congestion.

Ikea had estimated more than 14,000 people would visit the store on its first day.

With files from the CBC's