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The Self Storage Industry In Canada

June 23, 2020

Within the turbulence of the current economic landscape, there is a quiet, high demand sector of the economy that many investors are just starting to get excited about. Investors are now actively seeking out investment opportunities that demonstrate stable cash flows and potential for capital appreciation over time — especially during periods of market turbulence and recessions.

The challenge for investors in the past was the ability to participate in the growing space of self storage. There were not that many opportunities open to the retail investor. Make Space Capital Partners addresses this challenge through the creation of a private fund that is building a portfolio of 15 to 20 self storage properties in diverse markets across Canada — with a defined exit strategy. A fund that allows retail and accredited investors to participate in the immediate cash flows and potential appreciation over time.

Recently, the popularity of self storage has opened the door for conversations around the supply demand equation in Canada.

“The storage market is considered undersupplied across the rest of the country as well. And that is bringing a lot more money in from the United States and more interest from pension funds and lenders, Mr. Bradley says. “We estimate the demand for self-storage to be at least four square feet per person in the GTA, and that’s compared to a current supply of between two and three square feet. By comparison, in the United States, the demand is five to nine square feet per person.” (1)

Danny Freedman, co-owner of Make Space CP., sees this demand in both the self storage properties and auxiliary businesses. “We believe the storage industry both in its traditional form, as well as the more innovative on demand services have a long runway here in Canada. What we have seen in our current markets is an uptick in demand so far in 2020.”
Another example of this demand for self storage can be found in an article from Real Estate Magazine online “in the Greater Toronto Area, with a population of 6.4 million, Bluebird estimates that the market could handle an additional 224 self-storage properties of 100,000 net rentable sq. ft.” (2)

Mr. Freedman speaking to the consistency of demand states “the big life event drivers into self storage are the 6 D’s; Divorce, Downsizing, Displacement, Death, Density and Disasters. With the current turmoil in the economy, these events are being amplified. Coupled with Canada’s natural population growth and favourable immigration policies we believe the demand for self storage will increase over time.”

  1. Immen, Wallace, “Storage facilities reach new heights,” The Globe and Mail, February 11, 2019.
  2. Adair, Jim, “Underserved self-storage market attracts investors,” REM online, February 5, 2019.

Author: John Manley. If you have any questions, you can contact him at [email protected]

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