CBS Unveils Plans for Toronto Production Studio

Jan Thijs/CBS
'Star Trek: Discovery'

The U.S. media group, which shoots 'Star Trek: Discovery' locally, will launch the CBS Stages Canada complex, with six soundstages, in mid-2019.

CBS Television Studios is expanding in Canada as it gets set to open a 260,000-square-foot studio with six soundstages in Toronto in mid-2019, it was announced Wednesday.

CBS, which already shoots the Star Trek: Discovery series for CBS All Access at Pinewood Toronto Studios, has taken a long-term lease on the commercial space in Mississauga, in suburban Toronto, to launch the studio.

CBS is also hedging its bets by launching its own studio as Toronto faces a long-standing shortage of quality studio space for Hollywood producers.

"The Toronto area specifically has provided our series with diverse and appealing locations as well as production infrastructure and crafts expertise that cannot be easily found," David Stapf, president of CBS Television Studios, said in a statement. "These new stages will provide valuable resources and additional capacity for our company’s growing production slate," he added, as CBC also shoots In the Dark and the reboot of Charmed in Toronto.

Toronto and the wider province of Ontario are enjoying a production boom as Hollywood and other international producers bring their film, TV and digital projects for local shoots to take advantage of tax breaks and currency savings. But the $2 billion in production activity last year left Toronto's studios filled to bursting and Hollywood film and TV productions going elsewhere, including to Montreal and Vancouver, to find available studio space.

Toronto-based John Weber and Frank Siracusa, who executive produce the Star Trek: Discovery series for CBS, will oversee the development of the studio and manage the production facility.

CBS Stages Canada will also offer production offices, support facilities and auxiliary services for large-scale TV and film production. CBS Television Studios currently has 63 series in production, including shows for the CBS Television Network, The CW, the CBS All Access streaming service and programming for networks and platforms outside of CBS.