November 17, 2021
The city of Toronto and the screen industry are behind a record expansion in Toronto, including growth in studio space, increased workforce development and the creation of environmentally friendly production facilities.
On November 16, Mayor John Tory announced that Hackman Capital Partners and its subsidiary the MBS Group were the successful promoters of Basin Media Hub’s Request for Proposal (RFP) for the construction and operation of a studio complex of cinema on 8.9 acres in the Port Lands of Toronto. The $ 250 million state-of-the-art media center will provide much needed capacity in the industry with up to 500,000 square feet of studio and production office space.
Yesterday’s announcement comes at a time of extraordinary growth for the film production industry in Toronto. The City’s decision to market an 8.9-acre city-owned parcel of land for studio development recognizes the economic and cultural value of the screen sector and recognizes that the global demand for space to Toronto exceeds current capacity. Global demand for studio space and talent in Toronto is only expected to increase, in part due to the following industry successes:
- In 2021, Netflix announced the opening of its Canadian headquarters in Toronto, joining Amazon Studios to increase their investments in Toronto, beyond their already large service production footprint, by leveraging Canadian content and creators.
- Production volume is on track to hit a record high in 2022, after hitting a record high of $ 2.2 billion in 2019.
- By 2025, thanks to expansions and new construction, studios in the Toronto area will grow 63% to 5.3 million square feet.
- Leading companies’ investments in bottom-up technologies position Toronto as a world leader in innovation in virtual production workflow and content creation.
- Famous series such as Star Trek Discovery, See, Locke & Key, Schitt’s Creek, What We Do in The Shadows, The Queen’s Gambit, Jack Reacher and the upcoming feature films Nightmare Alley and Women Talking have all been made in Toronto.
The City and its Film Bureau are working closely with industry partners and the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Board to attract more investment, create more jobs and foster civic pride. The Film Office proactively consults, identifies and responds to industry needs, specifically addressing the studio space, increasing and diversifying the workforce, ensuring top-notch customer service and supporting an infrastructure and production tools that respect the environment.
The City’s workforce development activities are stimulated by the growth of the studios. In September, the city announced the expansion of xoTO Screen Industry Pathways, the Film Office’s workforce development initiatives aimed at growing and diversifying the talent pool in Toronto alongside unions and guilds, community training groups and educational institutions. This work is directly guided by the city-commissioned Toronto Screen Industry Labor Force Study, which identified labor shortages and compared labor force growth. artwork compared to the increased studio space. The approach is threefold: educating Torontonians about the many career options in the sector; create low barrier training programs that allow young people from diverse backgrounds to join a union or guild; and help productions attract new talent.
Following customer requests for environmentally friendly production facilities, the City is building its first two “power cuts” in high-use locations, allowing productions to connect to electricity rather than using electricity. diesel generators. Two power cuts will reduce the industry’s carbon footprint by 400 tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) per year, equivalent to the energy consumption of 45 homes or 81 cars driven per year. Other power drops will be built in the coming years depending on industry demand. The City Film Bureau is a member of Ontario Green Screen, an initiative between government, industry, labor, guilds and professional associations that empowers productions and studios to make sustainable choices.
In response to the growth of the industry, the Film Office is also improving customer service by hiring additional film license coordinators and sector development staff to innovate and expand services as production volumes increase. New film authorization fees will also be introduced in 2022 to support the Film Office and its workforce development and sustainability initiatives.
“Toronto’s film production industry continues to experience extraordinary growth, with an international audience recognizing the skills and abilities of Toronto’s talent. The fact that we are on track to break the 2019 production volume record of $ 2.2 billion set as early as next year is a clear sign that Toronto and its screen industry are coming back stronger than ever. .
– Mayor John Tory
“The film industry plays a vital role in the strength and diversity of Toronto’s economy. International demand for our studios and talent continues to grow, and yesterday’s announcement advances our plans to increase studio capacity in the city, grow our workforce and further green the industry.
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough-Center), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“With production value on track to hit an all-time high in 2022, exceeding $ 2.2 billion, the industry needs this future cutting-edge media hub to meet the growing demand for space and talent. Toronto. “
– Councilor Paula Fletcher (Toronto-Danforth), Chair of the Film, Television and Digital Media Advisory Council
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city the main economic engine of Canada and one of the most diverse and enjoyable cities in the world. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a world leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and ranks regularly at the top of international rankings thanks to investments supported by its government, residents and businesses. For more information, visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.