It’s safe to say that shipping container retail space isn’t a fleeting trend. Toronto’s sprawling shipping container market, STACKT – which opened for business in 2019, transforming the northwest corner of Bathurst and Front streets into an innovative spot to shop, eat, and play – has just signed a historic 10-year lease extension with the City of Toronto.

This marks the longest lease the property at 28 Bathurst Street has ever seen and is a testament to STACKT's lasting success as a once-disrupter of the city's retail scene. STACKT has served as a launchpad for many small businesses and new brands who have popped up in their prime downtown real estate over the years – including Endy, Sonos, Makeway, Inkbox, and Monos. Sparing the sky-high cost of commercial space in the downtown core and the potential to get tied into a lengthy lease, the shipping container real estate offers a turn-key way to test the waters with a temporary pop-up shop.

Housing both a brewery and eats and drinks on its sprawling outdoor real estate, STACKT is also a culinary destination in its own right and has become a coveted event space.

“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the City of Toronto,” says Matt Rubinoff, Founder and President of STACKT. “In Toronto, STACKT market began as a unique concept and has evolved into an impactful ecosystem where people and businesses can connect and grow. We have created a community here in Toronto, and this lease expansion proves our ongoing commitment to fostering opportunities for creativity and growth. We are excited about the expansion and to bring this energy across Canada this year.”

stacktToronto's stackt Market Wins Global Design

Today, STACKT also announced a national expansion, fuelled by its new venture, STACKTˣ. The initiative is designed to accelerate small businesses across Canada by providing them with turnkey physical storefronts, resources and tools, and community-driven partnerships. It’s also an online hub for learning, tutorials, and community conversations.

STACKTˣ will open its first expansion location in Ottawa’s bustling ByWard Market neighbourhood on June 13th, followed by Vancouver and Calgary locations. These prime retail locations and digital resources will support over 11,000 small businesses across Canada in the first year alone and continue STACKT’s legacy as the leading incubator for small businesses nationwide, says the company.

STACKTˣ will be giving away over 48 grants within their new pop-up locations in Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver, each offering a one-month free lease for small business owners. The STACKTˣ Storefront Grant is an opportunity for small businesses to test out a retail storefront, engage with new and existing customers, and learn key insights that can be applied for future growth, says the company.


In the meantime, summertime programming at STACKT is in full swing in Toronto. Programming includes everything from “Flame to Table” brunches and dinners with well-known chef Matt Basile, to a pride party, drag show, and puppy yoga.

STACKT is just one example of innovative uses of shipping containers. In recent years, they’ve been used for everything from swimming pools to housing.