Sonder adds properties in largest three Canadian cities

Canada: Tech-enabled hospitality company Sonder has announced its expansion to Canada’s three largest cities: Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.

Sonder will open 66 suites in Vancouver, as well as added more than 100 in Toronto the Guerin Lofts in Montreal.

Sonder’s expansion is buoyed by a strong performance in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of its American properties have held over 70 per cent occupancy, while in Ireland, the company has been able to keep its numbers stable by providing accommodation for key workers and frontline healthcare staff.

Louise Cooperstrom, Sonder director Pacific Northwest, said: “Sonder has definitely outperformed traditional hotels across the world — they’ve outperformed by multiples. It’s because we offer long-term stays and the whole model is touchless.

“We’re not emphasising the touchpoints you see in traditional hotels. Guests have their own kitchen; they don’t have to go out to eat,” she added.

This innovation has allowed Sonder to not only open more properties but to move into the downtown areas which have been heavily affected by the global pandemic. According to the company, its Vancouver property is the first “hotel” to open in the city for a long time.

Some of the new properties are refurbishments of older units, adding Sonder’s signature aesthetics and technological touches, such as the Beverley Hotel in Toronto. Others are Sonder’s traditional apartment conversions, allowing the company to appeal to multiple different demographics.

The expansion into Montreal is particularly notable as the city has been rumoured to be a frontrunner for Sonder’s second headquarters. Sonder was founded in the French-Canadian city in 2012 but moved to San Francisco two years later to pursue international investors.

Martin Picard, Sonder co-founder and global head of real estate, told Beta Kit: “We’d love for Montreal to have a bigger place within Sonder. Today we’ve established ourselves as a bigger player, and we have those ties with investors on a global scale, so we think it’s the right time to think about where we can have a second location.”

Sonder’s expansion is not limited to Canada, however. Seattle and Ireland have all been marked as locations for future expansion, while the company added its first Latin American property in Mexico City.