Toronto’s film and television production industry directly contributed $1.16 billion to Toronto’s economy in 2002.
“No-o-body is better than Toronto for film and television,” said Mayor Mel Lastman. “Production crews the world over are coming to Toronto to shoot – and let me tell you: our city looks great on the silver screen.”
Major projects such as feature films, television series and specials accounted for $886 million in production spending. Many current world-wide blockbusters were shot in Toronto last year, including “Chicago”, “The Recruit”, and the recently released, “How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days”.
TV series include “Eleventh Hour”, “Queer As Folk”, “Nero Wolfe” and “Mutant X”. Made for TV movies include “Newsroom: The Movie”, “Mary Higgins Clark Mysteries” and “Good Fences”.
As well, 134 music videos were shot in Toronto by such well known Canadian musicians as, Shawn Desman, Snow, Our Lady Peace, The Tragically Hip and Remy Shand, spending a total of $7.1 million.
Television commercial productions shot 1,665 days on location and contributed $166.5 million to the economy. An additional $41.6 million in commercial production was spent in studio, and the animation sector spent $50.9 million.
Post-production companies and film studios generated additional millions of dollars of economic activity.
“Toronto’s industry can look forward to a good performance in the year to come, thanks to the quality of Toronto’s film crews, outstanding production facilities, the variety of Toronto’s locations, competitive tax policies, and an attractive exchange rate,” said Rhonda Silverstone, manager of the Film and Television Office.
Toronto’s industry received a boost when Alias/Wavefront received an Oscar for its development of Maya Software, the professional 3D animation and effects package developed at its King Street East head office.
The industry received yet another boost this year when it was named one of the top 10 cities in North America for independent productions by MovieMaker Magazine, a trade magazine for the global film and television production industry. It stated, “The heart of Canada’s film industry is still Toronto … with a plethora of divergent locations, great natural beauty, low cost of living, a ton of world-class gear and facilities … and top-flight cast and crew.”
Several filmmakers say strong support from the City is a big reason why they come back to shoot productions in Toronto year after year.
“We’ve made Toronto even more attractive for domestic and foreign producers by centralizing our film and television office, and of course, it’s the continued support of the citizens and businesses which helps make our successes possible,” said Brenda Librecz, executive director of the City’s Economic Development division.
A snapshot: film and television production in Toronto
– $1.16 billion worth of film and television productions were shot in
the city of Toronto in 2002
– Major productions: $886 million
– Commercials: $208.1 million
– Animation: $50.9 million
– Music Videos: $7.1 million.
– The industry provides 28,000 jobs in Toronto, making it one of the
city’s largest employers.
– Between 18 and 40 productions are shooting in Toronto on any given
– Since 1992, growth of major productions in Toronto has increased by
more than 10 per cent annually.
– Since 1992 the value of production spending in Toronto by United
States companies has grown annually by approximately 21 per cent.
– Since 1992 the value of production spending in Toronto by Canadian
companies has grown annually by 3 per cent.
– In 2002 the City’s Film and Television Office issued 5,077 location
filming permits for 1,513 projects totaling 11,317 days of shooting.