Mini Mall Storage’s Strategy Appeals to Investors and Customers Alike

All financial figures are in Canadian dollars 

North American self-storage business owner and operator, Mini Mall Storage Properties (‘Mini Mall’), continues to show significant growth as the company surpasses $500 million in assets under management (AUM), offering over three million square feet of storage space and 25,000 storage units across Canada and the U.S.

“Our focus on technology and people, coupled with an industry-leading approach to service, sets us apart and has allowed us to scale up swiftly and confidently,” says CEO, Adam Villard. “We couldn’t have reached this incredible milestone without the support of our company’s broad, vertically integrated platform that keeps our people closely aligned across operations, finance, accounting, legal, service teams, and more.”

Today, Mini Mall employs more than 125 professionals across seven provinces from Vancouver, B.C. to St. John, N.B., and six states including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Ohio. Their recently appointed President of U.S. Operations, Raheem Amer, brings significant storage industry experience and a keen understanding of how and where technology is best used to modernize operations across all facets of the business.

“With strong technological foundations and a continuous drive towards efficiency, we are well on the path to becoming an industry leader within the class B and C self-storage space,” says Amer. “Using sophisticated technology from pre-acquisition stages to full stage servicing generates more informed investment decisions, smoother processes, and an optimized level of customer service.”

Mini Mall’s technological improvements include coded access gate systems, state-of-the-art security cameras, and an online customer portal which helps tenants easily manage bill payments.

In February 2022, Mini Mall celebrated its two-year anniversary. Since its inception, the company has become one of the top five self-storage providers in Canada and is showing similar gains across the U.S., acquiring over one million square feet of self-storage in Q1 of this year alone.

“We are proud of the work we do to deliver modern technology, operational excellence, and better value to our customers and investors across North America,” says Villard. “With numerous investments, attention to efficient operations, and a sharp focus on recruiting local talent, we have many more exciting milestones ahead of us.”

About Mini Mall Storage Properties Trust:

Established in 2020, Mini Mall Storage Properties has been successful in strategically acquiring pre-existing storage facilities throughout North America and making purposeful capital improvements along the way. Working in alignment with its vision of modeling state-of-the-art technology and tenant convenience, it offers affordable storage solutions equipped with unmatchable safety, security, and innovative technologies. The company prides itself on continually working to retain a healthy, diverse, and inclusive workplace. 

About Avenue Living Asset Management: 

Founded on the principle of investing in the everyday, Avenue Living focuses on opportunities that are often overlooked by others, having grown to over $3.7 billion in aggregate assets under management across four private real estate investment mandates. The Avenue Living team includes over 750 professionals with expertise in real estate operations and transactions, property management, research, investment origination, and capital markets, as well as a suite of subject matter experts to support Avenue Living’s growing portfolio of multi-family residential, commercial, agricultural land, and self-storage assets. In addition to over 14,400 multi-family units located in Canada and the United States, Avenue Living and its related entities own over 496,500 square feet of commercial space, 82,827 acres of productive farmland, and more than 3 million square feet of self-storage space.  

This commentary and the information contained herein are for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or related financial instruments. This article may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should refer to information contained on our website at for additional information regarding forward-looking statements and certain risks associated with them. 

Hedge against inflation with alternative real estate investments

Multi-family real estate has long been recognized as one of the best ways to hedge against inflation. Property classes reflect an A, B, or C grade based on a combination of factors such as amenities, management styles, location, and tenant income levels. However, the best bets aren’t always shiny new Class A properties in hot housing markets with high rents. Avenue Living Asset Management holds B and C multi-family real estate assets and has a tried-and-true track record of providing A-class institutional quality management through customer-centric operations and services, capital improvements and a vertical integration model.

Why We See Opportunity in the Workforce Housing Market

Why We See Opportunity in the Workforce Housing Market

With climbing inflation and rising interest rates dominating headlines, the housing market has become top-of-mind for Canadians from coast to coast. Ensuring adequate affordable supply is a complex problem with no easy solution, and tackling it requires input and action from all areas of the housing industry, as well as various levels of government. From our inception, Avenue Living has focused on providing safe, well-managed housing at affordable prices — a focus that has allowed us to weather several economic challenges, and one that we know is a key part of the housing spectrum, now and in the future.  

For investors, there is potential opportunity in existing supply, especially in assets that serve the workforce housing demographic — the focus of our Core Trust. This group, which makes up approximately 40 per cent of the private rental market, is anticipated to seek more affordable solutions as inflation and rising interest rates delay or disincentivize homeownership. Several external factors continue to bolster the strength of the workforce housing market, from population growth to the geopolitical and economic environment. Here, we explore those factors and their impact on our model. 


The conversation around housing supply often raises the need for new builds. But with inflation at 6.8 per cent in April, and supply chain challenges making project plans unpredictable, construction of new buildings is not an immediate answer to the housing affordability problem. Avenue Living is in a unique position, as we acquire and refurbish existing housing stock to create safe, comfortable, and affordable homes for renters. As the cost of new builds continues to rise — and take rents with them — renovating existing property becomes a quicker, more efficient way to inject appealing inventory into the market at a reasonable price point. Renovations require an investment of approximately 10 to 15 per cent of the asset value, mitigating the risk of rising costs and allowing us to continue to provide safe, comfortable homes at an affordable rent, on a shorter timeline — and to potentially generate more immediate returns for our investors. 


Housing affordability is top-of-mind for residents, as the cost of home ownership has risen out of reach for many. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Commission (CMHC) dictates that for housing to be considered “affordable,” a household must “spend less than 30 per cent of pre-tax income on adequate shelter.” Avenue Living residents, on average, earn $56,000 per year and spend roughly 23 per cent of their income on rent — which is significantly lower than the affordability construct from CMHC. 


The government of Canada has an ongoing plan to increase immigration levels, as a way to increase our workforce and help the country recover from the economic challenges of the pandemic. This plan aims to attract over 400,000 people to Canada a year through 2024. In 2021, we welcomed a record number of newcomers — 401,000 people made Canada their home, the largest influx ever. Alberta is consistently one of their top destinations with Calgary and Edmonton as the fourth and fifth most popular cities among newcomers to Canada. Many newcomers rent when they arrive in Canada and fit into our target demographic, with the median pay for those arriving in Canada in 2018 sitting at $31,800. 

Changing Resident Preferences 

The pandemic changed how individuals view their homes, but beyond that, people are making space a priority, a trend that is becoming increasingly evident in rental patterns. We have seen more interest in suburban locations with larger floor plans — especially townhomes — across our portfolio, as inflation and rising interest rates cause people to put off home ownership and opt for more spacious rentals. Our experience as active property managers also tells us residents are seeking institutional-quality service, something rarely paired with affordability, but that we are committed to delivering.  

Labour Market Shortages 

The construction industry has been struggling with labour shortages for several years, and in the past year, those shortages have become more extreme. The 2021 BuildForce Canada report suggests the construction industry could be short as many as 81,000 workers by 2030 as it tries to keep up with retirements and increased demand — especially for housing. Avenue Living’s strategy of purchasing built assets and making capital improvements shields us from much of the risk that comes with that labour shortage.  

Opportunity in the Workforce Housing Market

Our focus on multi-family residential, and particularly the workforce housing demographic, has historically shown opportunity for investors interested in real estate; a trend we believe will continue. As inflation and interest rates compel people to consider renting long-term, Avenue Living continues to set itself apart through strategic acquisitions, value-add capital improvements, and an unparalleled focus on the resident experience.  


This commentary and the information contained herein are for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities or related financial instruments. This article may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should refer to information contained on our website at for additional information regarding forward-looking statements and certain risks associated with them.