Storage started in Canada in the 1970s after several entrepreneurial people brought the American concept to their neighbourhood. Sentinel is one of the pioneers by building our first facility in 1974 in Grand Prairie, Alberta.
In the early days of storage, facilities were built in industrial parks on the outskirts of town. Land was cheap, so rows of garages in a fenced compound were the norm.
As time passed, storage evolved around the needs of the customer. People wanted this service closer to home. More and more people decided to live in the heart of the city in multi-family buildings over the sprawl of suburbia. Land is very expensive in the prime areas – so storage buildings started to go up (multistory) instead of spreading out (rows of garages).
The new buildings have as many bells and whistles as a fancy hotel tower. One of the most important features when deciding to use one of these wonderful new facilities is the elevators. Most of the storage units will be located on an upper floor. This means placing your items on a complimentary cart and rolling it to your unit.
If the storage facility you are considering has only one elevator, what if it is not operating due to mechanical issues? This same elevator must be available for several customers to use at the same time. During busy times of the month, you may have to wait your turn.
What size is the elevator? Sometimes, to save money, the elevator is a small passenger elevator like you may find in a small apartment building. This means many loads, and more potential for waiting to share with other users.
At Sentinel, we design large freight elevators for our new buildings. This means a large service car – 10’x10’ – that can handle several loaded carts at the same time. This provides faster access and loading time. We also have two elevators in our facilities, which means less waiting and sharing. And, on the rare occasion one is out of service, there is still another one to use.
Your time is valuable. Ask before you select your storage unit to avoid “elevated” frustration later.