Canada's largest film and television production facility to be built on Toronto's waterfront|
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Mayor Mel Lastman on behalf of The City of Toronto, and James Villeneuve, Chair
of the Toronto Economic Development Corporation, today announced the creation
of Canada's largest film and television production facility, to be built on
Toronto's waterfront land.
"Toronto is already the number one choice for film and television production in
Canada," said Mayor Mel Lastman. "Now the world's whole film and television
industry will be beating a path to Toronto's door. This initiative will be a
tremendous boost for Toronto, our film and television industry, and waterfront
The value of film and television production in Toronto has grown consistently
over the past decade but has reached a plateau. The new facility's
Hollywood-sized, state-of-the-art sound stages, studios and post production
services, will attract big-budget, high value-added productions that currently
The project will create 7,000 direct and indirect jobs, have a construction
value of $150 million and create 2,500 person years of construction work. HOK
Architects and Sequence Development in conjunction with Shoot City will be
building the one million square-foot facility on 43 acres of waterfront land.
Internationally renowned Pinewood Shepperton Studios will play a leading role
in the operation of the production studios. Home to such blockbusters as the
Batman, Superman and James Bond series of films brings almost 70 years of
studio operations experience to Toronto. Pinewood Shepperton Studio's decision
to launch its North American operations in Toronto brings the support of
respected directors like Ridley and Tony Scott who lent their support to the
"Toronto offers a fabulous platform for our North American debut," said Michael
Grade, Chair of Pinewood Shepperton Studios. "There's a wealth of production
talent and we're really looking forward to establishing ourselves here and
building upon our history of high-quality film and television experience."
Construction of the project is anticipated to begin in March 2003. The media
centre will be built by the private sector without any subsidy from the City.
It will become an anchor in the development of the Toronto Waterfront
Revitalization Corporation's plan for a convergence centre. Details of the
proposed initiative will be forwarded to the Board of the Toronto Economic
Development Corporation (TEDCO) for its approval, and will then be subject to
the City's regular development approval process.
"The announcement of this film production centre is good news for Toronto's
Waterfront. It fits the vision shared by all three levels of government - that
Toronto's Waterfront will become the centre for new business "clusters" of
industries that are growing in importance to Toronto, to Ontario and to
Canada," said Robert A. Fung, Chair of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization
Film and television production has been growing by 15 per cent and brought an
all time high of $1.322 billion into Toronto's economy in 2000. A Film Economic
Strategy report demonstrated a need for a high-end film studio to advance
Toronto's international competitive position.
The City of Toronto established the Toronto Film and Television Office in 1979
to promote Toronto as a production centre internationally and to coordinate
location filming through the issuance of permits. Toronto ranks third in film
and television production in North America - and is the second largest exporter
of television programming. The industry supports 28,000 jobs in the city and
annually contributes $1.5 billion to the City's economy.
The City of Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) is an Ontario
business corporation with the City of Toronto as the sole shareholder. TEDCO
was incorporated in 1986 to pursue industrial development, and to attract and
retain jobs in the city. It is a self-financing, arms length agency supported
by a ten person board of directors appointed by City Council. TEDCO owns over
400 acres of land in the Port Area of Toronto and leases properties to more
than 100 businesses.