Q1 2020 Toronto Industrial Market Report

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) began the new year right where it left off 2019, as one of North  Americas’ tightest industrial markets. With continued rapid demand from logistics, e-commerce and  transportation sectors, net rates again reached unprecedented highs at $9.21 net/sf across GTA  markets. Despite the 13,622,559 sf worth of industrial space currently under construction, record  setting absorption continues to drop vacancy and availability rates across all sub-markets.

Industrial users were arguably the first group in the GTA to feel the effects of COVID-19 as the  global pandemic prevented Chinese products from being shipped overseas in mid-February. The recent  influx of e-commerce demand, again caused by the virus, has created even more constraints on industrial users. In an attempt to accommodate this new demand, along with inventory now being delivered from China, companies have started to complete short-term leases for temporary space near 
their existing facilities.

In late March, Premiere Doug Ford’s ban of non-essential business directly effected the current and future supply of GTA industrial space. With only certain industrial developments deemed critical projects allowed to continue construction during the outbreak, a multitude of developments will be delayed.

Making future projections can be difficult during this uncertain time, however, leading into April, vacancy and availability rates are expected to hover around 1.3% and 2.2% respectively, as groupslook to navigate the climax of the virus before finalizing significant real estate transactions.