A Guide to Canadian REITs

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Real Estate Investment Trusts, commonly known as REITs, are an essential part of the Canadian investment landscape.

REITs pool capital from investors to acquire, manage, and operate income-generating properties, offering a way to earn dividends from real estate investments without having to buy, manage, or finance any properties themselves. 

In Canada, REITs play a significant role in the real estate market, allowing investors to diversify their portfolios with exposure to various types of properties, from residential and commercial to industrial and healthcare facilities. Canadian REITs offer unique advantages, including potential tax benefits and access to a diverse range of high-quality real estate assets, making them an attractive option for both new and seasoned investors.

Public vs Private REITs in Canada

Understanding the differences between public and private REITs is crucial for investors looking to diversify their real estate investment portfolios.

Public REITs

Public REITs are traded on major stock exchanges, making them easily accessible to general investors. These REITs are subject to rigorous regulatory oversight, ensuring transparency and accountability. Investors can buy and sell shares of public REITs with the same ease as trading stocks, providing liquidity and flexibility. Public REITs often attract a wide range of investors due to their accessibility and the potential for steady income through dividends.

Private REITs

Private REITs in Canada are not traded on public exchanges and are typically available only to eligible, accredited or institutional investors. These REITs will often require a higher minimum investment and are less liquid compared to their public counterparts. However, private REITs can offer potential advantages such as higher returns and less sensitivity to market fluctuations. While they may involve higher risks, they also provide opportunities for more personalized investment strategies, greater consistency in returns, and potentially greater control over property management decisions.

When considering investments in REITs, it's important to weigh the benefits and risks of both public and private options. Public REITs offer liquidity and transparency, making them suitable for a broad range of investors. In contrast, private REITs, with their potential for higher returns, portfolio consistency, and tailored investment strategies, may appeal to those who meet the criteria and are comfortable with the associated risks.

Types of Canadian REITs

Canadian REITs come in various types, each focusing on different sectors of the real estate market. Understanding these types can help investors choose the REITs that align with their investment goals and risk tolerance.

Residential REITs focus on properties such as apartment complexes, condominiums, and other residential communities. These REITs generate income primarily through rental payments from tenants. They can offer stable returns, especially in regions with strong rental markets and growing populations.

Commercial REITs invest in office buildings, shopping malls, and other commercial properties. Income is derived from leasing space to businesses, which can include everything from retail stores to large corporations. Commercial REITs can be attractive for their potential for higher yields, but they may also be more sensitive to economic cycles.

Industrial REITs focus on warehouses, distribution centers, and industrial facilities. These REITs benefit from the growing demand for logistics and e-commerce infrastructure. They typically offer stable and predictable income streams due to long-term leases with tenants in the manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution sectors.

Healthcare REITs invest in properties like hospitals, nursing facilities, and medical office buildings. These REITs capitalize on the consistent demand for healthcare services, providing a stable source of income. The aging population and increasing healthcare needs make healthcare REITs a resilient option.

Retail REITs own and manage shopping centers, malls, and retail stores. Income is generated through leasing space to retailers. While retail REITs can offer high returns, they are also susceptible to changes in consumer behavior and economic downturns, which can impact retail sales and occupancy rates.

Specialty REITs focus on niche markets such as self-storage facilities, data centers, and cell towers. These REITs offer unique investment opportunities and can provide diversification benefits. Specialty REITs often cater to specific industries with unique demand drivers, such as the growing need for data storage and telecommunications infrastructure.

Each type of REIT offers different benefits and risks, making it important for investors to consider their individual investment goals and market conditions when choosing the right REITs for their portfolios. By diversifying across different types of REITs, investors can achieve a balanced approach to real estate investment, mitigating risks and improving potential returns.

The Best REITs in Canada

When it comes to selecting the best REITs in Canada, it's essential to consider individual investment goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon. Different investors have unique priorities, whether it's generating steady income, achieving long-term capital growth, or balancing risk and reward. The best REIT for one investor might not be the same for another, highlighting the importance of a personalized approach to REIT investing.

On the Parvis platform, we offer a selection of REITs that have been meticulously vetted and chosen for their strong performance and potential. These REITs represent a range of investment opportunities, each carefully evaluated for their track record, management quality, and growth prospects. By offering a diversified portfolio of high-quality REITs, Parvis aims to provide investors with reliable and attractive real estate investment options that align with their specific goals and preferences. Explore the options on our platform to find the REITs that best suit your investment strategy.

Pier 4 REIT: Pier 4 is a private REIT that invests in multi-family buildings in Canada and provides investors with the opportunity to diversify their portfolios and gain investment exposure to high level real estate assets. The fund targets undermanaged and under-performing assets in regions which present strong market fundamentals. It was founded in June 2020 and retains 493 units within 19 properties across Ontario and New Brunswick.

Honeytree REIT: HoneyTree is a tech-focused hospitality REIT, specializing in acquiring value-add hotels and enhancing guest experiences through AI- driven automated check-ins and digital concierge services. The management team’s expertise in identifying and capitalizing on market opportunities ensures that the REIT remains resilient and adaptable to changing market conditions.

Nearctic Industrial REIT: Nearctic has a collection of functional and flexible assets. Their portfolio consists of Class A industrial properties located in Central Business districts. Nearctic’s REIT is focused on long-term growth in Canadian markets on a private placement basis. Nearctic believes in investing in existing multi-tenant properties possessing characteristics that provide potential growth in cash flow and valuation through repositioning and redevelopment strategies. 

Cascadia Green REIT: Cascadia Green Real Estate Investment Trust is a private REIT that provides exclusive access to a pipeline of multi-family development assets in Greater Vancouver. The Trust has partnered with an established development arm, allowing investors to benefit from favorable positions taken in developments and acquisitions of this highly competitive market.

District Property Trust: District Property Trust, also known as District REIT™, is a private Real Estate Investment Trust that owns and operates a portfolio of diversified income-producing real estate and mortgage investments. As a Canadian entity, District REIT seeks to acquire properties in emerging secondary and tertiary markets within Southern Ontario. This REIT aims to provide stable income and capital appreciation through strategic investments in key urban locations.

Revesco Properties Trust: Revesco Properties Trust is a Canadian-owned, US Dollar denominated perpetual life REIT that was established to acquire ownership in open-air shopping centers and mixed-use properties in strong growing trade areas with dynamic and diversified economies throughout the United States. Investors can choose to invest using either CAD or USD.


Investing in Canadian REITs offers the opportunity to diversify your portfolio and gain exposure to the real estate market without the need for direct property ownership. Whether you prefer the liquidity and transparency of public REITs or the potential higher returns of private REITs, there are options to suit every investor's goals and risk tolerance. 

By understanding the different types of REITs, you can make informed decisions that align with your investment strategy. Explore the REITs we offer and take the first step towards a robust and diversified real estate investment portfolio.