"Hollywood North" is getting bigger. Cinespace is planning to build a new film and television studio at a former industrial shipping terminal near the Toronto waterfront.
Toronto is already the third biggest film and television production center in North America, with about 900,000 square feet of studio space. Now Cinespace Film studios plans to lease property from Ports Toronto and convert part of the terminal into a 165,000 square-foot studio.
Cinespace already has several Toronto studios where productions like The Handmaid’s Tale and the Shape of Water have shot. The new studio will become the new hub for the company’s downtown productions.
The new facility comes in response to what some are calling an exploding demand for studio space in the city at a time when there are shortages of available filming locations.
“When you look at what’s happening in Hollywood, Netflix unfolded its slate several years ago and they populated several film jurisdictions. But they love Toronto so we want to welcome more Netflix business. Amazon has touched base here recently and they want to send more business here. I was just in Los Angeles a few weeks ago and heard directly from them, 'When are you building more space so we can send more product?' We want to be ahead of the game and we want to have the physical infrastructure in place,” said Jim Mirkopoulos, speaking for Cinespace.
In 2016, film, digital and television productions brought about $2 billion to the city’s economy. The new studio will not disrupt the city's industrial shipping operations. The two industries are expected to co-exist with cruise ships continuing to use the terminal.