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The History of Merriam Music’s Piano Stores in Toronto
Merriam Music has and always will be a music company by musicians. For 25 years our mission has been to unleash the power of music in every single person. Our amazing journey began with Alan Merriam’s dream back in 1988. He himself was a performing jazz musician in Ottawa at the age of 15, and went on to further study jazz at the Humber College School of Music and traditional piano under some of Canada’s most celebrated piano coaches. He performed on several TV and radio programs and also traveled across Canada with his trio. His experience working in Canada’s largest pianos showrooms as a very successful salesperson also instilled a great love and appreciation for pianos and their builders. By combining methodical investment practices with a basic financial conservatism, along with his passion for music and the arts, Merriam Music has grown to become the most successful, progressive and innovative music organizations in the country.
Merriam Pianos boasts one of the most impressive collections of pianos in the world, with the very best from Germany, Japan, the United States, China, Indonesia, and more. Our facilities have been specifically designed and built with pianos in mind, so our acoustics, retail spaces, and warehouse / service facilities are without parallel in the industry. We’re incredibly proud of our lineup of Grotrian, Shigeru Kawai, Mason & Hamlin, Kawai, Perzina, Steinberg, Roland, Bolan, and Korg and we strive to make every customer’s visit a worthwhile and magical experience.
Most importantly, Merriam does the shopping for you. Our global pricing policy means that you receive the best value for your dollar, guaranteed. At every step of the process we promise to deliver uncompromising value, credible information and service, and an outstanding customer experience.
Two Toronto-area Locations
Merriam Music proudly serves the entire Greater Toronto Area with two locations: Vaughan (3175 Rutherford Rd, Vaughan, ON), and Oakville (2359 Bristol Circle, Oakville ON). They have both become preferred piano stores of Toronto residents, with annual deliveries routinely topping 700 pianos. Merriam Music has, from its inception, always sought to deliver a high-value experience to its customers, in world-class facilities. In 2010, Merriam Music was honoured by Music Inc Magazine as one of the leading music retailers in North America. Both the Vaughan and Oakville locations are fine examples of what a piano store could and should be: a special place for listening and learning; a world-class selection of new and used pianos to sample, side-by-side; expert staff with the latest industry information; and convenient, prime locations to visit us.
We’re often asked the differences between the North and West locations, and when it comes to pianos the answer is “very little.” Regardless which piano store Toronto residents wish to visit, they can be assured of a comprehensive education, an informed and professional selection process, and industry-leading after-sales service. While Oakville’s showroom has an expanded digital and high-end grand piano section, Vaughan and Oakville both have an equal selection of new and used entry-level and mid-range uprights and grands, as well as all of our best-selling digital models.
Awards and Recognitions
Merriam Pianos has been recognized many times over its history, and certainly over the last 10 years has risen in prominence to become one of the most visible and often-cited dealers in all of North America. Here is a partial list of honours we’ve been privileged to have received within the last couple of years:
- Dealer of the Year (Kawai): 1999 – 2012
- Business of the Year (Oakville Chamber of Commerce)
- Top Dealer (Grotrian): 2007 – 2012
- Top Dealer (Perzina): 2007 – 2013
- Top Dealer (Mason & Hamlin): 2011 – 2013
- One of North America’s Top 5 Music Retailers (Music Inc): 2010
Merriam Music in the Community
Merriam Music is an active participant in local charity, university research and pedagogy development, and community events. These types of connections are woven into the very DNA of the company because of the opportunities they create for our students as well as the shared experience we can bring to the piano department. Through past associations with the University of Ottawa, we were able to further study the effects of our pedagogical development on our own students. Activities such as Ribfest, The Boat Show, and Jazz Festivals allow us to showcase amazing instruments while providing high-quality performance opportunities to our community of music makers. This is a partial list of the community connections we are known for:
- University of Western Ontario
- Wilfrid Laurier University
- Humber College
- Queens University
- University of Ottawa
- McMaster University
- Lakeshore Burlington Rotary
- Young Peoples Theatre
- International Boat Show
- Canada’s Largest Ribfest
- Oakville Jazz Festival
- Toronto Jazz Festival
- The Rex Hotel
- The Shangri La Hotel
- Dixon Hall