Toronto Star – Storstac Container Homes and Tinyhomes Feature

Shipping Container home (s) are drawing more interest in Toronto


The New Old Stock Designed; Storstac built; off-grid Shipping Container Tinyhome/Bunkie

Costs of Building Homes from recycled materials match price of traditional home construction

By: Tracy Hanes

Special to the Toronto Star

Five years ago, there had been virtually no interest in shipping container homes. Times have changed. “I get two to three queries a day about shipping container homes,” says David Pali, director of business development for Storstac (, a Toronto company that modifies shipping containers and fabricates portable buildings. While most of Storstac’s business is for commercial or industrial clients (it has created a Tesla showroom and a shop for the Moss Park Market), it also creates residential projects, such as the addition to a Toronto residence/restaurant and a four bedroom house slated for downtown Hamilton.

Most shipping containers are used only one or twice to ship cargo before being abandoned in industrial yards or shipped back to China, where they are manufactured.

Storstac has been in business since 2003. Its president and founder, Vincent Ruggiero, has 40 years experience in the industry. He created ways to recycle discarded shipping containers. He also invented the first portable mini storage units and the first portable wireless telecommunication shelters for the companies that became Rogers, Telus and Fido; created hazardous material storage systems for Ontario Hydro; and created shelters for the Trans-Siberian Pipeline.

Toronto architect Jason Halter of Wonder Inc. Designed both the Hamilton home and two man caves for Hollywood producer Dan Lin, fabricated in Storstac’s yard and shipped to Los Angeles. Halter says shipping container buildings have been around for 25 years in the US.

While raw shipping containers are relatively inexpensive – about $17  a square foot – the other costs are similar to traditional home construction, so these types of homes don’t cost less to build, Pali Says. For example, “you have to do steel work, plus you still need interior stud walls, insulation and mechanical systems.” The Hamilton house for example, will cost about $175 a square foot.

The homes also have to meet zoning and building code requirements.

Storstac only uses containers made of corten (or weathering) steel. which is more resistant to atmospheric corrosion then cheaper “mild” steel. Storstac also has a Ministry of Environment-approved paint booth on site that warms the containers so paint will adhere properly and not peel.

Pali and Halter both expect interest in shipping container houses to continue to build. “they are fantastic building block,” says Pali. “They are stackable modular and movable.”


(On the weekend of Saturday October 1st 2016, Storstac was featured in 3 separate articles (including the front page article) in the Toronto Star Homes and Condos section regarding the shipping container homes and tinyhomes/bunkies we have built over the summer. This article featured here was a “special to the star” that was an in print exclusive)


Storstac featured in the Toronto Star for various housing and tinyhome/bunkie container builds


Storstac to build Hamilton Shipping Container House

Storstac is excited to announce that in just a few weeks we will begin fabrication of Canada’s first shipping container house to be permanently located in a major city’s (Hamilton’s) downtown core right here at our Toronto shipping container fabrication facility. This precedent setting build nicknamed the Hamilton Shipping Container House is already BUILDING PERMIT APPROVED and will consist of eight 40′ shipping containers sitting on top of a solid concrete block foundation. Designed by Toronto Architect Jason Halter of Wonder Inc, the house has been custom designed to suit his clients specific tastes which Jason describes as being “iconolastic”. Although the shipping containers themselves are fabricated in China (as China is the only place in the world where shipping containers are fabricated) all of the modification work and materials used for this project will be made in Canada. Unlike most shipping container homes built around the world, this one will not be clad with any additional materials. Instead, the containers Corten steel corrugated walls will remain naked, and they will be painted brick brown; allowing the house to better blend in with the surrounding Victorian era homes. The rugged industrial look of this shipping container home pays homage to the fact that it will be located in “Steel Town”, but a number of subtle architectural design elements (like the six walk out balconies that will utilize the shipping container doors as the balconies side walls) will make this shipping container home stand out from most others. Until now there have only been a hand full of container homes built in Canada, most of  which have been erected in rural areas as cottages. The vast majority Canada’s shipping container homes/cottages are pre-fabricated builds that are modified and built in china. This is problematic because they use Chinese steel and parts which provides the end user with a low-quality, inferior product that is unlikely to stand any real test of time. As stated earlier in this article, the Hamilton shipping container home will be modified and fabricated at Storstac’s modification facility located at 90 North Queen Street in Toronto and will rely strictly on 100% Canadian steel, paint, windows doors and most importantly local labor. Follow us on Instagram (@storstac_inc) as we will be closely covering and updating followers as this project develops and progresses. Installation of the Hamilton Shipping Container House will take place in June of this year.

About Storstac: With over 450 years of combined experience in the shipping container modification industry Storstac Inc. is the Oldest, Largest, Most Experienced shipping container Modification Company in Canada. Storstac’s Founder and President has been designing and manufacturing modified shipping containers since 1971. Since then, Storstac has pioneered countless shipping container modifications that range from the very first portable wireless telecommunication shelters for Cantel (now Rogers), Clearnet Communications (now Telus), Microcell telecommunications (now Fido) to the revolutionary Tesla pop up container dealership (made from two 20’ shipping containers). We’ve worked with some of the biggest companies in the world, right down to your average Joe that needs a used shipping container for onsite storage. We fabricate modified shipping containers for a host of applications which include generator enclosures, retail pop up kiosks and retail stores, shipping container bars, fully functional commercial grade off grid shipping container kitchens, and even modular shipping container homes and buildings.

All of the Hamilton shipping container house modification work will be undertaken by Storstac at our Toronto modification facility

All of the Hamilton shipping container house modification work will be undertaken by Storstac at our Toronto modification facility


All of the Hamilton shipping container house modification work will be undertaken by Storstac at our Toronto modification facility

All of the Hamilton shipping container house modification work will be undertaken by Storstac at our Toronto modification facility


For progress on this project and all of our other shipping container projects

Follow us on:

Instagram (@storstac_containers)

Twitter (@storstac)

and like us on Facebook


Read more about this Project:

Globe and Mail – Proposed Hamilton container home is a steel building for Steeltown

The Hamilton Spectator – Shipping container house debuts in Hamilton



pop up shops toronto

Storstac Builds Tesla Container Dealership

(Storstac Inc. Toronto, Canada) Storstac builds Tesla container dealership! When it comes to shipping container modifications Storstac has done and seen it all. From the installation of Toronto’s very first container market, to mobile bars to container buildings, Storstac can modify a container to meet the needs of any application. When we were approached to build a mobile dealership for Tesla we were eager to get started. The project parameters were simple: fit the entire dealership within two 20′ shipping containers. Although this might sound like a simple task, this included packing up the roof, signage and the entire 20′ x 12′ open concept showroom area into the two 20′ shipping containers. Keep in mind that the two 20′ shipping containers featured finished drywall, desks, chairs, computers and showcases for Tesla merchandise. The world of shipping container modification is one filled with a lot of smoke and mirrors. Although there are a number of container modification companies out there, very few have the technical skill, imagination and experience to fabricate a modified container that can meet the strict as-built guidelines and quality standards that a company like Tesla is looking for. Storstac’s owner and president has been modifying containers since 1971 (that’s 45 years of real world experience with container modification). You will be hard pressed to find a company with half as many years experience in this field. Although it was a challenge, we worked tirelessly to get the job done. In the end, we fabricated the Tesla Dealership to fit all of these components within the two 20′ shipping containers. The Tesla container dealership is another way for Tesla to reach its customer base without setting up a bricks-and-mortar stores or rolling out a traditional marketing campaign. Mobile pop up stores are gaining traction in North America and Canada, so if your looking to take your business to the next level, or your looking to expand your current market presence, then maybe a containerized pop up store is where you should be looking.

Storstac: We are Toronto’s Largest, Oldest, Most Experienced container modification company.

Outside of the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

Outside of the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

An inside look at the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

An inside look at the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

An inside look at the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

An inside look at the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

Tesla Showroom in Action

Tesla Showroom in Action

Modified Container Office Space

Storstac custom fabricates mobile container office space out of 10′, 20′ and 40′ modified shipping containers. Our mobile office containers are some of the best made container offices in the industry and feature everything you would find in a conventional office space. Our modified container offices are fully insulated and feature a 100amp breaker panel, lights, heaters, air conditioning, wall plugs, phone jacks, two windows, and one man door. Once you step inside one of our modified container offices you will think that you just walked into a traditional brick and mortar building.

The advantages of a Storstac modified container office over a traditional trailer office provided by the other guys are easy to see. Our modified container offices are built within an all steel shipping container or sea can. The advantage of building an office inside of a modified shipping container is that they provide you with a sturdy, all steel structure that will outlast a trailer office multiple times over. Traditionally, trailer offices are made of all wood construction. The all wood construction can cause the trailer to smell and it causes the trailer to be extremely flimsy which significantly shortens the shelf life of the office. The Storstac modified container office is also placed at ground level. The man door is only 6″ off of the ground, which means there are no stairs or steps required to get in and out of the office. This makes winter maintenance very easy and straight forward. Trailer offices always require stairs, and they are usually made of wood. This can cause unnecessary tripping hazards and makes winter maintenance more difficult.

Buy one of our modified container offices that are pre-fabricated, or have one built to your specifications.

For more information about our 10′, 20′ and 40′ modified shipping container offices you can reach us at 416-231-9100 or come see one for yourself at our Head Office/ Depot @ 90 North Queen Street, Etobicoke Ontario.


Storstac 20' modified container office

Storstac Container Modification

modified container office

Storstac modified container office

Storstac Container Kiosk at The CNE

Storstac is proud to have 3 of our modified container kiosk’s featured in this years (and 2014 & 2013) Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. The Canadian National Exhibition or CNE, is Canada’s largest annual fair. With over 1 million visitors each year, the CNE is home to hundreds of food, drink and gaming vendors that mostly work out of event tents and non permanent structures. A container kiosk is the perfect replacement for these event tents because they are easily to deploy, can handle harsh weather like high winds and rain better then a tent, and are easy to secure during off hours. A container kiosk can be as simple or extravagant as your imagination (and budget) can come up with. From a bare bones container kiosk (like the 1-20′ 1-10′ blue container kiosks below) to the more extravagant “Glow Bar” 20′ container kiosk that features a 20′ fold down wall (also Below), your imagination is your limit when it comes down to design, look and functionality of your retail kiosk. At Storstac we have the experience, expertise, and man power to get the job done, meeting and exceeding the customers expectations. We’ve been modifying containers for 40+ years and have pioneered countless applications utilizing modified shipping containers or sea cans. Want a container kiosk, container showroom, container kitchen or container house…come by our offices and see what Storstac can build for you.

Storstac Glow Bar

Portable 20' Container Bar @ The CNE 2015

Portable 20′ Container Bar @ The CNE 2015

Portable Container Kiosk @ The CNE 2015

Portable Container Kiosk @ The CNE 2015

Mobile Container Kitchen

We are the first company in Canada to build a fully sufficient, off the grid, commercial grade mobile container kitchen.  Our mobile container kitchen (Commercial and Light-Duty Kitchen) is intended to be used on or off-the-grid in any situation. Besides being hooked up to a power source (either from a near by building, hydro line or via a generator/solar panels) the kitchens (both commercial and light-duty) do not require any water or sewage connections. All water  is housed within the units and is easily disposed of and replenished. The commercial kitchen is also equipped with on-board propane tanks to power all of the appliances (the light-duty kitchen does not require propane as it uses all-electric appliances). The commercial grade mobile container kitchen also comes with an 8′ x 8′ walk in fridge, freezer, three slinks, two deep fryers, one range, one grill and two ovens (one being a convection oven). As with all of our custom modified containers these two kitchens are CSA approved (electrical) and the commercial kitchen is TSSA approved (propane).


Commercial Kitchen

Commercial Kitchen

Commercial Kitchen Appliances

Commercial Kitchen Appliances

Storstac Off The Grid Commercial Kitchen

Storstac Off-The-Grid Commercial Container Kitchen