GTA Commercial Brokers

Identifying the Right Commercial Property for You


Your first search for the right commercial property can be intimidating. It’s not like buying or renting a house, that’s for sure! It’s a whole different world, with a whole different set of rules, customs, and expectations. 

Let’s go back to basics — a successful commercial property transaction starts with knowing what you need. Commercial property comes in a variety of flavors. Not every property is well suited for every business; some businesses aren’t even allowed to be run on certain classes of property due to zoning rules. 

Understanding your needs and matching them to the right property is critical to success — and it forms the bulk of what I do to help my clients win the kind of deal that will elevate your business above the pack.


Industrial property is associated with the production and storage of hard goods. If it’s sold on the shelf of a store, served in a restaurant, or delivered from an eCommerce store, it probably began its life as a consumer goods on industrial property. 

Industrial property tends to be more remote because the businesses that use them don’t depend on foot or car traffic. Industrial property may exist in infill (city-center) locations of major metros, but this is usually “last-mile” warehousing, the last place a product is stored and processed before being delivered. Otherwise, infill land tends to be too expensive and susceptible to environmental hazards. Suitable locations for industrial property are usually only dictated by the proximity of its necessary workforce.

Environmental hazards are a significant concern on industrial property because the process of making and storing goods is often dirty, involving fuel, chemicals, heavy machinery, and extreme temperatures. 

Because of this, companies that need industrial space tend to be very finicky in terms of their needs. Without enough floor space, vertical space, electric supply, and capacity for loading and unloading, the business simply does not function. Some industrial buildings include office space as well. 

Companies that Use Industrial Property

  • Heavy manufacturing.
  • Light manufacturing. 
  • Warehousing. 
  • Food processing.
  • Research and development. 
  • Show room 
  • Laboratory Facilities
  • Gym
  • Daycare, Child Care
  • Professional Office (Archtectural Office, Law Firm, Accounting Firm, Engineering Office, Technology Office, 
  • Automotive Sales
  • Automotive Repair
  • Fridge & Freezer Facilities 
  • Heavy Equipment Sales & Repair
  • Wood Working


Products that are manufactured on industrial property tend to get sold to consumers in retail property. Retail commercial property includes malls, strip malls, shopping centers anchored by big box stores, all types of restaurants, and freestanding stores.

Compared to industrial property, location matters a great deal with retail property. Successful retailers choose locations with good foot traffic or street exposure for their signage … but not just any traffic. The demographics of that traffic need to be examined and understood, so you can find out if your target customer persona is well-represented within the traffic. If your ideal customer is women between 35 and 50, heavy foot traffic is useless to you if that traffic is mostly 20-year-old men.

Another important factor in selecting retail space is making sure you have enough space, and the space is configured so you can use it well. Whether you lease or buy, you will usually be handed over the space completely bare, for you to build out to your specifications.

Companies that Use Retail Property

  • Big-box retailers
  • Drive Through
  • Specialty retailers
  • Chain retailers
  • Banks
  • Restaurants
  • Grab N Go
  • Convenience stores
  • Mom and pop stores
  • Grocery Store
  • Aperal Stores
  • Gym’s
  • Professional Office (Archtectural Office, Law Firm, Accounting Firm, Engineering Office, Technology Office, 
  • Show Room
  • Spa’s
  • Dentists
  • Phisio Therapy 
  • Car Sales


Office property can be used by a variety of business-to-business or business-to-consumer service businesses. It could be the kind of place where customers or clients visit regularly; it could be a place where customers never visit, and all interaction takes place online or over the phone. But all manner of “white-collar” business gets done in office property.

Depending on whether or not they depend on consumer attention, companies may benefit from office property with significant street exposure and foot traffic; or that might be completely irrelevant. Offices that never receive client visits can afford to pick a relatively remote location; the bigger limiting factor is its proximity to the workforce.

As with retail, office property tends to get handed over to the owner or tenant as empty, unconstructed space. It falls to you as the user to build it out to your specifications and requirements. 

Companies that Use Office Property

  • B2C service businesses.
  • B2B service businesses.
  • Call centers.
  • Data Processing
  • File storage and processing.
  • Corporate offices.
  • Hi-Tech
  • Medical Office 
  • Professional Office (Archtectural Office, Law Firm, Accounting Firm, Engineering Office, Technology Office, 


Mixed-use property combines different classes of commercial property within the same building. Examples include:

  • Industrial property that includes both manufacturing and warehousing space onsite. 
  • Industrial property that has office space on-site. 
  • Retail space with offices upstairs.
  • Retail space with apartments upstairs. 

Mixed-use property is often found in urban city centers, but new-build construction may have been constructed as “live-work” spaces or with mixed uses in mind. 

Companies that Use Mixed-Use Property

  • Retailers that depend on the foot traffic of residents within their building and other nearby residential property. 
  • Companies that need on-site offices at their industrial or retail facilities. 

Other Considerations

Once you know which category of commercial property is right for you, we’re on the right track. But the journey is just getting started. Many other considerations play into picking the right commercial property. For example, if you decide an office is best for you … which office?

Consider your needs in terms of the following:

  • Location. Will you depend on foot or car traffic past your signage to generate business? Do you need to be located near your potential workforce, or near public transit for your workforce to use?
  • Space. How much space do you need for customers? For employees? For equipment and delineated spaces? With retail, “bigger” has historically been “better,” but in the eCommerce era retailers are learning to maximize profit by doing more with less space.
  • Parking. Parking consideration may be twofold — 1. parking for your workforce, and 2. parking for customers and guests. If both need to be addressed, separate solutions may be required for each.
  • Special Use Cases. Particularly applies to industrial property, which may have exacting power requirements or the need to work with sparks, sawdust, chemicals, and strict temperature or climate control. 

The most important thing to understand is that you don’t have to face the search alone. I have helped Ontario businesses find the right commercial property for decades — lease or sale. I came up with a major brokerage before striking out on my own so I could represent my clients’ interests first

If you need commercial property and don’t know where to start, the place to start is a no-obligation conversation with me. We’ll identify what you need, and move at your pace to find it.



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