How to Raise Capital for Real Estate Development in Canada

Download Icon
Download this Article as a Free PDF Guide

From the bustling urban centres of Toronto and Vancouver to emerging markets in cities like Calgary and Halifax, the Canadian real estate landscape is continually evolving. Developers play a pivotal role in shaping not only the skyline but also the economic fabric of the country, contributing to community growth, urban planning, and economic development.

Capital raising is the lifeblood of real estate development. Whether it's a residential complex, a commercial plaza, or a mixed-use development, substantial financial resources are needed to move a project from conception to completion. Funding not only facilitates the construction phase but also influences the choice of location, design, quality of materials, and even the project’s overall feasibility.

This article will explore real estate capital raising in Canada, helping issuers address key questions and prepare for success in securing the capital necessary to complete a project. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The leading sources of project financing
  • How to get investors for real estate development

These considerations are integral to navigating the complexities of real estate developer financing and investment in the Canadian context.

Sources of Capital in Real Estate

Canadian issuers have a range of options at their disposal when seeking financing for their projects. From traditional bank loans to disruptive real estate investing platforms, the choice of funding source often hinges on the project's stage and the developer's specific needs.

  • Bank Loans: Many developers rely on commercial banks to provide construction loans or mortgages. These loans typically require a solid credit history and a detailed project plan.
  • Equity Financing: This involves selling a stake in the project to investors, thereby sharing both the risks and rewards. Equity investors may range from friends and family, accredited investors, family offices to professional investment firms. As an example, Parvis offers EMD as a Service, a solution for issuers that don’t meet the regulatory requirements needed to raise capital for alternative investments like private real estate.
  • Government Grants and Subsidies: In certain areas, government incentives may be available to promote development, particularly for projects that align with social, economic, or environmental goals.
  • Crowdfunding: This innovative method lets developers pool funds from a number of individual investors, democratising the capital raising process.
  • Mezzanine Financing: Acting as a bridge, this financing type blends the features of debt and equity. It’s typically used to bridge the funding gap between standard debt financing and equity needs.
  • Joint Ventures: By forging partnerships with other developers, landowners, or even financial institutions, developers can undertake more ambitious projects that might otherwise be out of their reach.

The diversity of financing options for real estate development in Canada offers developers both challenges and opportunities. By astutely matching the right source of capital to the project's requirements and stages, developers can improve their chances for success.

How to Get Investors for Real Estate Development

Attracting investors for real estate development - like anything else - requires a compelling offer. Investors look for strong returns, transparent processes, risk mitigation and, if possible, a track record. Tailoring the right strategy to appeal to the right investor profiles is crucial. From showcasing a compelling vision to presenting a robust business plan, developers must employ various methods to secure the needed capital. 

Analysing Risk and Return

Investing in property development requires a careful analysis of risk and return.:

  • Risk Assessment: Understanding the potential risks, from market fluctuations to regulatory changes, is key to building a resilient investment strategy that potential investors can align with.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): Investors will look for a clear picture of the potential returns, including rental income, capital appreciation, and the timeframe for realising those returns.
  • Diversification: Balancing the portfolio with different types of properties, locations, or investment structures can mitigate risk.

The Role of Thorough Market Research and Planning

  • Market Analysis: Understanding the market trends, demand and supply dynamics, and competitor landscape is crucial for sound investment decisions.
  • Feasibility Studies: Comprehensive feasibility studies can help in evaluating the potential success and sustainability of a project, and instil confidence in potential investors.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Navigating the legal and regulatory environment requires careful planning and expert guidance.

How to Pitch to Potential Investors

Along with thorough risk analysis, projected returns, and market and research planning, successfully pitching to potential investors involves a number of essential steps.

  • Present a Clear Vision: Clearly articulating the project's vision, goals, and unique selling points can captivate and convince. A story well-told is a story well-sold.
  • A Robust Business Plan: A comprehensive business plan with financial projections, timelines, market analysis, and risk management can cement investor confidence. It's proof that you've thought of everything.
  • Prioritise Capital Protection: Every investor's primary concern is safeguarding their investment. This often translates into an affinity for ventures that present minimised risks. Having a robust strategy and a contingency plan can assure investors that their capital is protected. While risk is present in any investment, clearly outlining risk mitigation measures can help to instil investor confidence. 
  • Offer Realistic Returns: While high returns are enticing, setting exaggerated expectations can deter seasoned investors. Start with conservative projections. Surpassing these expectations solidifies your credibility and can help attract further investment.
  • Sell the Potential: Alongside conservative figures, spotlight potential upsides, which seasoned investors often seek. Ground your projections in research and realistic market trends.
  • Highlight Your Track Record: An established track record can significantly enhance a developer's ability to attract investors. By showcasing successful past projects and emphasising the lessons learned and profits earned, developers can demonstrate their expertise and reliability. Building a strong portfolio also enables a developer to appeal to various types of investors, from those seeking stable returns to those looking for more aggressive growth opportunities.

Employing Investment Platforms and Partnerships

Investment platforms and partnerships have emerged as an innovative way to broaden the investor pool. A notable example in Canada is Parvis and its EMDSolutions program. By offering a next-generation real estate investing platform, Parvis enables developers and issuers to expand their investor pool significantly. Through the use of technology, streamlined processes, and strategic insights, EMDSolutions is revolutionising how developers engage with potential investors. Such platforms provide access to a broader array of investors, from individual accredited investors to institutional giants, bridging the gap between traditional fundraising methods and modern investment avenues.

The integration of different methods creates a diversified approach to capital raising. It recognizes that attracting investors isn’t a one-size-fits-all question but a complex task requiring tailored strategies and a deep understanding of the investment landscape.


The landscape for real estate development in Canada is complex and multifaceted. Successfully raising capital requires a comprehensive understanding of various investment structures, legal regulations, risk assessments, and the alignment of financing sources with project needs.

Real estate developers are encouraged to approach capital raising strategically, recognizing the importance of robust planning, relationship building, and alignment with both short-term and long-term goals.

Finally, consulting with financial professionals, engaging legal experts, and conducting comprehensive market analysis is not just advisable but essential. These steps can unlock opportunities, mitigate risks, and guide a project to successful realisation. With the right approach, developers can not only find capital but also create partnerships and structures that lead to successful and sustainable projects.

If you are interested in raising capital for your real estate development project, get more information about EMDSolutions by Parvis here or contact one of our representatives below.