The Port Lands are the present and future home of Toronto’s film industry

The Toronto International Film Festival has established our city as one of the world’s hot spots for movie premieres. And that’s only fitting because Toronto, and specifically the Port Lands district, is also home to a film production industry that brought in more than $1.2 billion last year.

Pinewood Toronto Studios, the anchor of the burgeoning Port Lands Innovation and Creativity Cluster, is a key part of the city’s overall strategy to strengthen the competitiveness of Toronto’s film industry.

The story of how the Innovation and Creativity Cluster came into being goes back to 2002. TPLC conducted research to determine why Toronto was losing large movie productions to other cities. The research showed a need for larger, purpose-built studios – meaning facilities that were created for film and TV production, rather than taking old warehouses and other buildings and turning them into makeshift studio space.

Work started in 2004 and TPLC conducted a 30-acre remediation of former brownfield land. Four years later, Phase 1 of what is now Pinewood Toronto Studios opened. Phase 2 saw an expansion in 2013 so the facility now has 10 sound stages and two effects stages in the Studio District. And earlier this year, Pinewood Toronto Studio and TPLC reached a new agreement that will see the construction of a new 135,000-square-foot support facility scheduled to be completed in 2018.

The future is even more exciting. TPLC has identified 10 potential filming sites and facilities that are available in the Port Lands. With the film studios as an anchor, the Studio District will be a catalyst in the redevelopment of the Port Lands. By continuing to work with the private sector and the city, we will be able to expand on the development of a vibrant mixed-use community in the Port Lands with a focus on attracting and retaining jobs and increasing revenue for the city that can be used for infrastructure and transit.

Click here to return to our Digital Digest page for more content.