Toronto's film and television production hit $1.8 billion in 2017

Apr 13 2018, 11:37 pm

2017 was another big year for film and television production in Toronto, as the city hit its second highest level ever at $1.8 billion.

This was the third consecutive year that domestic and foreign film, television, digital, and commercial production investments in Toronto contributed more than $1.5 billion to the city’s economy.

“We’re proud of Toronto’s film and television industry and we want it to continue to grow,” said Mayor John Tory.

“We will keep working with our industry partners so they have what they need to create jobs, attract talent and contribute to the economy. Whether the final product will be on the big screen, the small screen, or streamed online, we want that production to be a made-in-Toronto production.”

Last year was an outstanding time for Toronto-based productions. The film, The Shape of Water, which was shot in Toronto, cleaned house this year during award season, receiving the most nominations for the Oscars and Golden Globes.

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is another Toronto-based production, which was prominently acknowledged at the Primetime Emmy’s.

The Handmaid's Tale


Toronto’s screen-based industry was also involved in the film productions of Molly’s Game, Downsizing, and The Breadwinner, which also received international award nominations and acclaim.

Film and television production in Toronto shows no sign of slowing down in 2018 either, as the eighth season of Suits, Umbrella Academy, and It: Chapter 2 will shoot across the city in the coming months.


Other production highlights for 2017 in the city included:

• Domestic and international screen-based production investments exceeded the $1-billion mark for a seventh consecutive year.
• The number of projects shooting in Toronto achieved the highest ever level, with 1,432 projects shooting in the city over 6,804 days of production.
• Investment in commercials production continued to rise to record levels, growing to $392 million in 2017. Investment in this area has nearly doubled in the last four years from the $197 million recorded in 2014.
• Domestic productions showed solid growth in 2017 after decreasing in 2016, moving from $429 million in 2016 to $477 million in 2017.
• Television series, both foreign and domestic, continue to be the dominant type of production occurring in the city, accounting for 73% of all major production investments.
• Investment in animation and visual effects remains strong at $381 million in 2017. Since 2014, investment in this area has increased by 338% (from $87.1 million).

In the coming weeks, Mayor Tory will be joining a delegation of 23 Toronto companies and organizations in Los Angeles on April 19 to pitch industry leaders in streaming, television, and film on the benefits of bringing productions to Toronto.

This relationship would not only provide more opportunity for business growth but also more film industry jobs in Toronto, which employs over 30,000 people.

“The film and television industry is an important economic driver for Toronto, employing over 30,000 people. We have tremendous Toronto talent in front of and behind the camera,” said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee.

And with 15 productions currently being shot in the city, film and television production in Toronto shows no signs of slowing down.

“Toronto is ready for more investment in this key economic driver for our city,” said Councillor Paula Fletcher (Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth), Chair of the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Board.

“We are doing everything we can to address all the infrastructure issues that will unlock growth potential for our film industry including identifying city land that will be put out on the market with the specific intent of building more studio space.”

With this being said, we can expect to see even more filming in the city as Toronto continues to take over as the new Hollywood North.

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