News / Toronto

Got space to spare? Rent it out to someone in need

Toronto start-up is helping people with extra space in their homes cash in, connecting them with those who have stuff to store and no where to put it.

(L-R) Toronto entrepreneurs Karen Wang, Sarah Selhi and France Brunelle created an app that helps people looking for spaces to rent.

Eduardo Lim / Metro Order this photo

(L-R) Toronto entrepreneurs Karen Wang, Sarah Selhi and France Brunelle created an app that helps people looking for spaces to rent.

Kevin Tam is sharing a corner of the basement in his Parkdale home with some unusual tenants: someone else’s boxes and a couch.

The 36-year-old is renting part of the space out for about $170 a month through a new Toronto-based start-up called SpaceiShare.

The new service connects people with room to spare in a city where square footage comes at a premium.

“I don’t even notice the stuff and I think it’s a fraction of my space,” said Tam of the unconventional arrangement.

“You have Airbnb which allows people to share their homes with other people, and I seemed rather obvious to me it’s a lot easier to share your space with boxes.”

Three Toronto women started the platform last summer and people can also rent out parking spots, balconies, backyards and even pools.

The company, which has about 500 users so far, will cover up to $2,500 for damages, provides renters and hosts with suggested price and a legal document, and takes a cut of each transaction.

It’s a good fit for Toronto where people are finding themselves squeezed into tiny apartments, or stretching their budgets to take on huge mortgages in exchange for more room, said cofounder Karen Wang.

Storage units are always an option but they don’t come cheap and are often located outside the city.


CEO Sarah Selhi said she got the idea from an aunt who paid $500 a month to store stuff for two years when she moved to Edmonton temporarily.

“Some family out there would have loved to have made $6,000,” she said, adding most renters are looking to store things like holiday decorations, mementoes or baby gear.

“There’s so many people out there with space, and there’s so many people out there who need it.”

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