Studio will add soundstages, offices

TORONTO — Pinewood Toronto Studios breaks ground today on a $40 million expansion that will add three soundstages and more office space to its purpose-built film and TV production facility in the city’s Port Lands.

The project, announced Sept. 10, has a target completion date of late 2014. However, Pinewood Toronto prexy Blake Steels told Variety that the first new stage will open late next year.

At 10,800 square feet apiece, the stages will deliver the kind of mid-sized, flexible space for which Toronto’s production community has long been clamoring — especially since 2009, when Ontario sweetened its 25% tax credit to all-spend incentive, increasing domestic and foreign production levels.

In 2011 Ontario’s production industry set a record for total spending of $1.26 billion, up 31% over 2010.

The 250,000-square-foot Pinewood Toronto, formerly known as Film Port, opened in 2008. Its Mega Stage, one of eight stages and the largest purpose-built soundstage in North America, recently hosted “Total Recall” and “Pacific Rim,” with the “RoboCop” reboot will shoot there this month.

“We had several types of shows come to us the past couple of years that we weren’t able to accommodate in our facilities,” Steels said. “These new studios will allows us to maintain a steady base throughout the year for smaller films, series and live TV.”

“As industry leaders, we will continue to invest in world-class facilities that will attract film and television productions from around the globe,” said Pinewood Toronto chairman Paul Bronfman in a statement.

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