New York investment giant Blackstone (NYSE: BX) is increasing its Canadian presence with the creation of a Blackstone Real Estate office in Toronto, with former Canadian Pension Plan executive Janice Lin as head of its Canadian real estate business.

“Ms. Lin’s leadership experience and deep knowledge of the Canadian market will help drive Blackstone Real Estate’s Canadian footprint as it continues to invest across all asset classes, with a focus on its long-term presence in the country,” says Blackstone in a press release. 

Blackstone -- the largest owner of commercial real estate globally -- is no stranger to the Canadian market. The company has long had a significant presence in Canada across its businesses, including CAD $14B of real estate assets totalling approximately 450 properties, consisting primarily of logistics. According to Blackstone, its portfolio companies across the firm employ more than 3,550 people in Canada.

“We are excited to officially open a real estate office in Canada and welcome Janice to lead our real estate business in the country,” says Nadeem Meghji, Blackstone’s Head of Real Estate Americas. “We are long-term believers in the strength of the Canadian economy, and we look forward to leveraging her expertise and on-the-ground views to help us expand our presence in the Canadian real estate market.”

Prior to joining Blackstone, Lin served as Chief Investment Officer at Revera, a global owner of differentiated retirement living operators with residences throughout Canada, the U.S. and U.K. Previously, she held senior investment roles across multiple sectors at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

“Blackstone’s long-term investment approach has enabled it to build a growing logistics, office, and residential footprint across Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver,” says Lin. “Canada’s population growth is the highest among G7 nations and is nearly double that of the U.S., and I believe that will continue to create exciting opportunities in the market. I look forward to strengthening Blackstone’s strong presence in Canada and supporting businesses across a number of different sectors.”

Currently, Blackstone owns and operates assets across every major geography and sector, including logistics, residential, office, hospitality, and retail. The move further into Canada will continue a shift from predominantly warehouses into new sectors like commercial and residential properties in the country. 

The trend of investors moving into real estate is a growing one. Last year, Toronto-based Core Development Group made headlines when it announced that it would buy up $1B worth of houses throughout Ontario and has plans to purchase 4,000 rental units in Quebec, BC, and Atlantic Canada over the next five years.

Similarly, last spring, Blackstone Group also reached a $6B U.S. deal to purchase Home Partners of America, a company that owns more than 17,000 rental properties across the US. Blackstone also invested $USD240M into Toronto-based Tricon Residential, which buys single-family rental homes south of the border.  

Blackstone’s real estate business was founded in 1991 and has $USD298B of investor capital under management. 

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