Bargain hunters willing to work in a somewhat unconventional office hub can find a great deal in one of Toronto’s aging industrial pockets. The co-working space broker, Instant Offices, lists a $16 per desk, per month, opportunity in the inner-city suburb of Don Mills among the nearly 130 buildings comprising the company’s Greater Toronto Area portfolio. However, the average cost per desk across all supply is pegged at $790 per month.
Eliminating the low-end outlier, advertised co-working space ranges from $200 per desk per month in a Mississauga office park to $1,200 per desk per month in the downtown financial district. The 43 options at $500 or less are relatively evenly split between 21 with convenient access to Toronto’s subway system and 23 in suburban locations. Only eight of the remaining 85 higher priced buildings lack convenient subway connections.
Co-working space — and flexible space purveyors — are steadily coming onto the office market. Instant Offices reports a 14 per cent expansion of its Toronto office footprint since the summer of 2018, on par with the company’s momentum in New York City. It also brokers deals for 48 sites in Vancouver, 43 in Montreal, 31 in Calgary and 12 in Ottawa.
Despite shared status for the lowest office vacancy rate in North America, at 2.6 per cent, co-working space in Toronto and Vancouver appears generally more affordable than in major markets in the United States. Vancouver’s listed per-desk rates trail those commanded in Toronto, ranging from a high of $999 (USD $759) to a low of $125 (USD $95) per month.
Looking south of the border, per-desk rates top out at USD $2,500 (CAD $3,300) per month in New York; USD $1,220 (CAD $1,610) in Chicago; and USD $1,675 (CAD $2,211) in Washington, D.C.. The cross-border price variation narrows considerably for low priced co-working space with New York’s best deal at USD $150 (CAD $198); Chicago’s at USD $132 (CAD $174); and Washington’s at USD $200 (CAD $264) per desk per month.
Meanwhile, nascent Canadian co-working space provider, iQ Office Suites, is venturing into the Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary markets. In total, the company will add another 112,000 square feet of office space as it also expands its existing holdings in Toronto and Vancouver. This will boosts iQ’s capacity to 3,000 desks.