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Toronto Film and TV Production Industry Sets New Record in 2021

April 21, 2022

The city’s film and TV industry saw incredible activity in 2021 with a massive investment of $2.5 billion in direct spending in film, television, and digital media productions, Mayor John Tory announced last month(1).

After a record-breaking year, Toronto’s production industry is set to experience rapid growth and momentum again in 2022.

A total of 1,468 productions and over 7,800 production days were filmed in Toronto last year, with that number set to rise this year. The city experienced growth in all categories: major studio productions (feature films, television series, music videos, reality TV), VFX and animation, and commercials. Although the hype for Toronto has been steadily building, the city has been a prime production location for years.

Helping to shape Toronto’s film and TV ecosystem, Netflix has been an active force in the development of Toronto’s production infrastructure and workforce with an already established production hub and plans to open their first Canadian office in the city. Other major players, such as Amazon Studios are also contributing to Toronto’s global position as a leader in mainstream content creation.

Brand new physical production facilities and post, VFX and animation studios opened their doors in 2021, with studio space set to grow by 63% over the next five years. Of these future developments, a massive film and TV production studio complex will be built in North York’s Downsview neighbourhood, which will span over 370 acres and set to create over 2,500 full-time jobs. Toronto will also be home to a $250 million state-of-the-art film, television, and media hub, aiming to build an accessible, dedicated space for media creatives on Basin Street.

This exciting growth also comes with its challenges as demand for studio space and productions surge, the industry finds itself struggling to fill the local talent pool. With the city recently ranking number two on MovieMaker’s list of the “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2022”, the city hopes to meet the demand by attract skilled workers from across Canada and internationally To help address this labor gap closer to home, in 2021 Toronto announced a new initiative to educate and train individuals about careers in the film industry, as well as guide them towards the more demanding jobs with industry partners and community groups.

As production companies continue to expand to Toronto and make big investments in the local economy, talent and infrastructure will play key roles in sustaining this historic momentum and rapid growth within Toronto’s thriving film and TV ecosystem.

“The film production industry in Toronto generates hundreds of millions of dollars each year for our local economy, while creating thousands of new, highly skilled jobs within the rapidly growing screen industry sector. Production companies continue to flock to Toronto to make big, new investments that keep our expanding pool of studio space busy and provide employment for our growing and evolving workforce.”

– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

1) Toronto’s screen production industry sets record with more than $2.5 billion in direct spending in 2021

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