Ontario is experiencing growth in self-storage, as the number of storage facilities continues to rise and the style of facility evolves. According to Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) data, the province now has 37.3 million square feet of commercial self-storage space – or the equivalent of the total ice surface of approximately 2,200 NHL rinks.
In the last three years alone, more than 4.2 million square feet—an increase of nearly 9%—has been added to the storage footprint, with additional growth on the horizon.
“There are a number of factors contributing to the self-storage boom, such as smaller dwellings—particularly condominiums—providing less space to store personal possessions,” says
, MPAC Vice-President and Chief Valuation and Standards Officer. “The pandemic may have also added to this trend, with more people working from home, looking to store items that have accumulated in their living spaces, downsizing or undergoing renovations.”
The self-storage increase is consistent with data released by MPAC in 2022, showing Ontario condominiums are 35% smaller on average than they were 25 years ago.
In Toronto, Ottawa and Mississauga—Ontario’s most densely populated cities with the largest concentration of condos—the growth in self-storage has been especially pronounced. Toronto now has more than eight million sq. ft. of commercial self-storage space, followed by Ottawa with three million sq. ft. and Mississauga with two million sq. ft.
MPAC is also noting a trend toward more modern design. While the traditional low-rise, mini-warehouse structure is still common, more sophisticated facilities are increasingly being built. These modern facilities are typically larger, fully enclosed, multi-storey structures that offer flexible spaces, 24-hour access and drive-in bays as part of their service offering.
“In the past, we would have seen sprawling low-rise storage facilities full of long-forgotten belongings, but today’s facilities often include amenities like climate control and enhanced security,” Martino says. “We’re also seeing multi-storey buildings with sophisticated facades that allow them to blend into urban areas.”
Top 10 Municipalities with Highest Self-Storage Square Footage
|Municipality||Total Sq. Ft.|
|City of Toronto||8,337,098|
Among the above 10 municipalities, there is 19,275,949 square feet (i.e., 51.59%) of self-storage area.
MPAC is an independent, not-for-profit corporation funded by all Ontario municipalities, accountable to the Province, municipalities and property taxpayers through its 13-member Board of Directors.
Our role is to accurately assess and classify all properties in Ontario in compliance with the Assessment Act and regulations set by the Government of Ontario. We are the largest assessment jurisdiction in North America, assessing and classifying more than 5.5 million properties with an estimated total value of more than $3 trillion.