The squeeze into storage

It turns out, the next “big space” is literally just more space. 

For many Canadians, storage is the new spare closet. Ontario is seeing the fastest growth, with square footage for self storage growing 9% since 2019. And business is booming: revenue at StorageVault Canada jumped from $11 million in 2015 to $261 million last year.

  • Bulky furniture, sports gear, and car tires are among the more popular items that are being put away in Toronto-based Vaultra’s storage units.
  • Vancouver and Toronto are the hottest markets for self-storage, but U-Haul is also planning a 20,000-square-foot facility in Saint John’s red-hot real estate market.

Why it matters: With the walls closing in on Canadians, we just don’t have enough space for our stuff. In Ontario, the average condo has shrunk in size by 35% in the last 25 years as more units have been squeezed into urban spaces and real estate prices have skyrocketed. 

Self-storage used to be a mom-and-pop business, but the space has consolidated in recent years. StorageVault Canada, for one, spent $241 million on acquisitions last year, and other VC-backed companies are taking the “self” out of self storage to store your stuff for you. 

Zoom out: You can still find more space for your things, but it probably isn’t going to be in your home.—AP