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Thanks to local U.S. series shoots for See, Star Trek Discovery, Titans and Reacher and new soundstages opening their doors, Toronto posted a record $2.5 billion in production activity in 2021, it was announced on Friday.
That production volume from 1468 projects — comprising budgets for $1.37 billion in major film and TV series, $409 million in visual effects and animation work and another $568 million in TV commercial production — was up 13 percent from the previous record for Toronto of $2.2 billion in total production investment in 2019.
The $1.5 billion in overall production volume Toronto saw in 2020 came amid a dramatic industry shutdown and reopening and tight COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic set in that year.
Other key productions that shot in Toronto in 2021 included Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, What We Do in the Shadows and Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley and Cabinet of Curiosities. And Toronto VFX and animation technicians completed work on Murder at Yellowstone City, Paw Patrol, Master of the Universe, Escape Room 2, Home Before Dark, Midnight Mass, Run and Gun and Turner & Hooch.
Toronto mayor John Tory told The Hollywood Reporter recent new soundstage openings and continuing development of the city’s technical crews and creative base helped his city post another record year in production volume during the pandemic.
Tory also pointed to Hackman Capital Partners and its affiliate The MBS Group being chosen by the city to develop and operate Basin Media Hub, a $250 million purpose-built film studio on an 8.9-acre waterfront site, Netflix opening its Canadian headquarters in Toronto and TPG Real Estate Partners acquiring studio campuses in Toronto and Chicago belonging to Cinespace Studios as evidence the Canadian city has cemented its status as a major global film and TV production hub.
“These fantastic companies have taken a look, listened to our pitch, visited the city and have decided to respond with investment,” the Toronto Mayor said ahead of a planned visit to Los Angeles to meet with major studio and streamer heads, likely in May.
On Thursday, rebounding foreign location shooting amid the pandemic led Ontario to announce the province’s film and TV industry was lifted to a record $2.88 billion in total production activity in 2021. That provincial tally doesn’t include $568 million in TV commercial production volume included in the city of Toronto’s screen-based production statistics for 2021.
Canada’s biggest city expects another year of rapid growth and momentum in 2022 as, three months into the current year, local studios are at capacity with U.S. and local production. That includes the second seasons of CBS’ Lily & Isaac and Netflix’s Sex/Life in production locally, the fifth season of MGM’s Ruby Road and the fourth season of Titans for HBO Max.
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