Where can I try and buy an office chair in Toronto?
July 10, 2009 9:00 AM   Subscribe

Where can I buy one expensive office chair in Toronto?

My Aeron, which I bought on eBay, and thus without a warranty, is gradually falling apart under the weight of my giant ass (the frame has cracked, and some of the levers don't work, and just today, random screws have started popping out for no apparent reason), so I'm soon going to need a new chair. I work from home and sit in this chair all day every day, so it needs to be a good one, a la another Aeron (perhaps with a warranty this time), something from Human Scale or Steelcase or Formway or similar.

Where can I go in Toronto to buy just one of these chairs, preferably having tried a few of them? An office furniture store that's actually willing to deal with one-off sales situations? The places I can find want me to make an appointment for a consultation about my office furnishing needs. I don't have office furnishing needs, I'm not trying to supply a work group or build out a new office, I just need a single chair for myself.

I also don't want to look at catalogues. I want to sit in chairs. I've already looked at catalogues (aka, teh intarwebs) and I have no idea which of these chairs are better or worse than any other.

If you've got specific experience as a 300lb+ person, preferably of the female with large hips variety, and want to recommend a specific type of chair, that'd help, too, but general 'these chairs are awesome' advice isn't all that likely to apply, given that Aerons are awesome, except when they break under your weight.
posted by jacquilynne to Shopping (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Herman Miller Canada. They have a corporate sales office in Toronto, but it's not clear if they will sell to individuals from there. It's worth a call though.
posted by wfrgms at 9:04 AM on July 10, 2009

Design Within Reach carries the Aeron and has a shop in Toronto.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:06 AM on July 10, 2009

There's a store selling Herman Miller Chairs in the basement of the ManuLife centre. Here's the chair and their hours.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:11 AM on July 10, 2009

My 260-ish pound ex-bouncer brother swears by Hag Credo chairs, saying that Aerons are "too flimsy" for him. Barry's Office Furniture seems to have some Hag models, as well as Obusultraforme, which another large-scaled friend of mine recommends.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:29 AM on July 10, 2009

Keilhauer makes high quality chairs of all varieties and it looks like they sell directly to the public. They are located in Scarborough, and even seem to have discount showroom model chairs available.
posted by consummate dilettante at 9:43 AM on July 10, 2009

This is not quite the question you are asking, but I just spent a week on a boat with a Herman Miller salesman, and he spent one dinner talking to the rest of us passengers about furniture design, pricing, and how what arrives on the market is always several years out of date with what's being created at the firm since, of course, it takes years to go from the drawing board to factory production. I asked specifically about the Aeron, since that's one of my dream purchases when I have money and stuff. What he told me is that the Aeron is way out of date, and he thinks the Mirra chair, their follow-up, is actually a better product for a lower price point. There's actually another chair by Herman Miller at a similar price point as the Aeron that's just come out, but I dunno what it's called.

I just thought I'd let you know - I don't know if you can find it, but at least this way you're aware. Salesman dude was from Bristol, I live in Switzerland, and he was talking up the cheaper product, so I have no reason to doubt him.
posted by bettafish at 11:48 AM on July 10, 2009

Best answer: Seconding the Mirra. It's an improvement over the Aeron.

Here's Herman Miller's list of authorized dealers in Ontario.
posted by paulg at 1:16 PM on July 10, 2009

It appears the latest Herman Miller chair is the Celle, and it apparently continues their trend of introducing new products at (slightly) lower price points than their previous models.
posted by lowlife at 7:37 AM on July 11, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, all, I ended up at Design Within Reach, which offered a mix of Herman Miller and Humanscale chairs, and ended up going with the Herman Miller Embody, which just felt the most stable of all of them. I loved the tension adjustments in the back.

The Humanscale chairs were comfortable, but they felt unstable without locking mechanisms for the recline.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:11 PM on July 12, 2009

I bought mine online at Gabriel Ross, and scored that most elusive of finds: a non-counterfeit, bargain-priced Internet purchase from an authorized dealer.

Gabriel Ross lists my black Fully-Loaded Aeron at $932 CAD, including free shipping. Since I'm in Toronto and they're in BC, I paid no provincial sales tax - just 5% GST. And, to top it off, they're part of the VISA Perks promotion. By entering Gabriel Ross' site via this VISA Perks link and paying with my VISA card, I saved 10%!

After placing my order, I was informed they were temporarily out of stock. A week later, they received the chair from Herman-Miller. Another week and FedEx was at my door. Fast and painless.

Until the chair actually arrived, I kept worrying whether it would be a used model made to look new, or an off-brand copy, or any of a number of Internet Aeron rip-offs. I was relieved to find everything as expected, including the all-important Herman-Miller label listing information required for 12-year warranty service. (Manufacture date: Jan. 25, 2010)

Final price, including tax and delivery: $880.74. This is much lower than any other dealer I found, and the quality & service were excellent. I can happily recommend Gabriel Ross to anyone (any Canadian, certainly) considering buying an Aeron chair.
posted by Blaq at 9:49 AM on February 23, 2010

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