Port Lands development recommendations for film, television and digital media industry presented today

The City of Toronto’s Film, Television and Digital Media Advisory Board received recommendations for the development of a portion of the Port Lands today to position Toronto at the forefront of the next wave of audiovisual production and enhance Toronto’s ability to attract and retain production investment.

The final report of the Soundstage Market Sounding Assessment was released at a meeting of the board, an advisory committee to Toronto City Council. The report identifies priorities for the meaningful development of soundstages and ancillary facilities in support of film, media and television production.

The report was requested by the Film, Television and Digital Media Advisory Board and was commissioned by the City’s Economic Development and Culture Division in partnership with CreateTO.

Authored by Nordicity, an international consulting firm, the report provides a market assessment of the Port Lands and addresses future developments over the next five years.

To support film, television and media production, the report identifies priorities for a meaningful development program of soundstages and ancillary facilities and recommends development criteria to CreateTO to continue support for this important industry.

The proliferation of streaming video on-demand services has created a global content production boom. In addition to film and television production, high-tech entertainment industries are experiencing rapid global growth, including interactive digital media, video games, virtual reality, visual effects and animation.

The Toronto film, television and digital media industry has participated in this boom but has been constrained by limited production space. Despite the large amount of studio space slated to come online by 2020, there will be a continuing need for additional production space in the Toronto region over the next five years.

The report recommends that future developments in the Port Lands focus on facilities that are suitable for the high-growth, high-tech, high-flex digital media production industries. It also recommends that local amenities, such as bars and restaurants, and public infrastructure, such as transit, should be tailored to an increasingly permanent workforce.

CreateTO will now work with a steering committee to customize a proposal call for an area of the Port Lands that will be dedicated to purpose-built studios and support the continuing growth and positive economic contribution of the film, television and digital media industry to Toronto.

The report is available at https://createto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Nordcity-Report-Market-Sounding-Assessment-FILM-BOARD-Sept-25-2019….pdf.

The Film, Television and Digital Media Board provides recommendations and advice to City Council to promote the attractiveness and competitiveness of Toronto for the film, television and digital media industry; to address issues and opportunities of the film sector; and to establish Toronto as a respected global centre of excellence for screen industries.

Quotes:

“I am proud to support our film, television and digital media industry and the many jobs that this sector continues to create right here in Toronto. This report will help guide future development projects so that we maintain Toronto as an internationally recognized production centre.”
– Mayor John Tory

“The film, television and digital media industry and its spillover effects are a critical part of Toronto’s economy and culture. Acting on the recommendations from this timely report will help us continue to be a destination for homegrown as well as foreign productions companies and position us for future industry needs as well.”
– Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 14 Toronto-Danforth), Chair of the City’s Film, Television and Digital Media Advisory Board and board member of CreateTO

“Film and television production in Toronto has been constrained by limited space capacity in recent years. This report confirms that and indicates the demand for soundstages in the Toronto region will continue to exceed supply. We look forward to bringing to market a new industry opportunity in the Port Lands that will enhance the studio capacity in the City and contribute to this important sector of Toronto’s economy.”
– Brian Johnston, CEO of CreateTO

CreateTO was formed in 2018 as the City’s new real estate agency. The organization brings together stakeholders, partners and community members to ensure the best use of the City’s real estate assets for today and tomorrow. CreateTO manages the City’s $27 billion real estate portfolio, develops City buildings and lands for municipal purposes and delivers client-focused real estate solutions – ensuring a balance of both community and economic benefits. More information is available at http://www.createto.ca.