Enjoying the fresh outdoors is an integral part of living in Canada. Be it in spring, summer, fall or even winter, gathering on a dock, deck, or patio to share refreshments and stories is a time-honoured tradition.
But sitting together on chillier days and nights isn’t always comfortable. And in winter it can be downright challenging, even with layers of clothing, blankets, and a nearby fire.
Wrmth’s new line of heated outdoor furniture is changing that narrative: the brainchild of Sally Daub and John Pomeroy is set to take your outdoor experience to the next level.
“We were inspired by the natural beauty and climate of cottage country,” says Sally. “We had just emerged from the water after a lovely swim, and we were chilled by a cool morning breeze. So we thought there should be a way to quickly warm up and stay warm.”
Putting their heads together, the two tech entrepreneurs did extensive research and development before finding the solution: a heated Muskoka chair. Partnering with local designers to create and update the look and feel of the classic chair, they combined form and function.
The chairs feature a patented thermal core that heats the chairs from within, generating a warm and soothing experience. The temperature is fully adjustable – in fact, their latest addition is an app with Bluetooth control, letting you adjust the chair from your phone.
Handcrafted in Ontario, their products are built to last. Their original Muskoka chairs are made from stone-based material, which retains the heat and radiates it gently.
They’ve since expanded their line of furniture beyond the iconic Muskoka chair. “We are introducing a suite of new products combining high performance and weather resistant aluminum legs to contrast the stone material used on the heating surfaces,” explains John. “We have also added some advanced manufacturing support in North Bay that elevates the precision on fit and assembly.”
Their chairs also feature integrated lighting, allowing users to add visual warmth as well as physical warmth. The lighting can be adjusted through the same app that is used to regulate the temperature.
With a low-carbon footprint and remarkably low operating costs, Wrmth products are an environmentally friendly choice. The lighting is dark-sky-friendly, ensuring that the environmental impact is truly benign.
Although the chairs were designed with homeowners and cottagers in mind, the company has seen growing interest from commercial users as well. Restaurants, breweries, pubs, and golf courses quickly see the benefit that a heated chair provides their guests, letting them convert otherwise dead real estate into usable space during cooler weather. The chairs are designed to be used all year round and can be left out in any weather.
Although the chairs require electrical power, the cords don’t have to be a challenge.
“We have unique ways to install the chairs and hide the power sources, ensuring comfort meets with design,” says Sally.
The co-owners aren’t just the masterminds behind the product – they’re also enthusiastic users of the chairs. Sally loves spending time outside watching movies, and enjoying those long, cool autumn evenings with friends and family.
John even spent New Year’s Eve last year outside near a fire, only made possible by his heated Muskoka chair. “These chairs give you the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors much longer. Certainly, those shoulder season outdoor experiences can be extended.”
But even people who only want to be outside in summer can see the benefits of a heated chair.
“We don’t have very many hot nights in our climate,” says John. “Even in the middle of the summer, when the sun goes down or the wind picks up, it can cool off pretty quickly.”
And once you sit in a Wrmth chair, you won’t want to give it up.
“We’ve been at parties where people would not relinquish their heated seats,” recalls John.
Continuing to invest in new designs and product innovation, Sally and John will soon be unveiling more heated furniture options and lifestyle accessories.
Having a fabrication facility in North Bay allows them to extend their product lines and continue their investment into local innovation: everything is designed and fabricated in Ontario with Ontarians in mind. Products can be ordered online and shipped anywhere, of course.
By continuing to innovate, the firm plans to be an integral part of enhancing and extending the Canadian outdoor experience.
“We want to become a fixture at Ontario homes, cottages and restaurants,” says Sally, “so as many people as possible can have the same tremendous experience that we do.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN