LA-based film production companies invested over $800 million in Toronto in 2016

Jan 19 2017, 8:38 pm

Toronto Mayor John Tory is heading to California in a bid to take home a larger chunk of the film and television production business that has been going to Vancouver, the third largest production hub in North America after Los Angeles and New York.

The Mayor, along with Councillor Michael Thompson, will be joining a delegation of 22 Toronto companies and organizations from January 23 to 25  for a “Los Angeles business mission” focused on the partnerships with LA-based production companies.

According to the City, the companies invested over $800 million last year by filming in Toronto.

“Toronto’s film and television sector is a growing source of jobs and economic growth. Last year was a year of record investment by Los Angeles companies in our city,” said Mayor Tory in a statement. “I am joining the Toronto film and television community to personally thank them for their confidence in us and to offer our efforts to attract more of these productions to our city that will have a long-term financial benefit for Toronto.”

Since the delegation’s success in 2016, the number of Toronto representatives has doubled in size for this year’s mission. The delegation returns to LA next week to “reinforce Toronto as a film-friendly destination that brings prosperity and jobs to their and to our city’s investors, production teams and residents.”

While in LA, Tory and the delegates will be presenting five key areas of focus to ensure the continuing growth of the Toronto film and television industry.

The key points include: working cross-divisionally to provide consistent support to the industry; advocating to and working with other orders of government; reviewing infrastructure needs; improving customer service for industry and residents affected by filming; and enhancing crew training.

The delegation will also be hosting four industry events for business representatives in the film, television and post-production sectors.

“In the last five years, Take 5 has been involved in over 200 episodes of primetime dramatic television produced in Toronto. Each one of our productions has been partially financed and supported through relationships with Los Angeles based studios and distributors,” said John Weber, President and CEO, Take 5 Productions, in a press release.

“As competition for film and television production remains internationally competitive, we view the mission as an opportunity to showcase the value propositions of producing in Toronto. We are excited to be sponsoring and joining Mayor Tory and the City of Toronto on this valuable trade mission to Los Angeles.”

Last year, Toronto was chosen for the production of CBS’s new Star Trek: Discovery television series, which the first time a Star Trek series is being filmed outside of the United States. The series begins filming this month. The City is also currently hosting several other film and television productions, including Saw Legacy, and James Franco’s Kin.

Toronto has one of the largest screen-based (film, television, commercials, animation) industries in North America, employing 30,000 people, according to the City.

To date, the industry has contributed more than $1 billion to Toronto’s economy.

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