Netflix is taking on close to 250,000 square feet of studio and office space in Toronto, as part of its agreement to invest in Canada’s entertainment industry.
The company announced pacts to lease two studio spaces in Toronto: with Cinespace Studios for around 164,000 square feet of space, including four sound stages, and with Pinewood Toronto Studios, also for four sound stages and adjacent office space comprising a total footprint of approximately 84,580 square feet. The new spaces add to Netflix’s existing physical production footprint in Canada, which includes a lease of British Columbia’s Martini Film Studios and production sites it sets up on a per-production basis.
The Canadian expansion comes after the streamer in 2017 committed to investing $500 million (Canadian) in content production in the country over a five-year period — a goal Netflix says it’s on track to exceed.
According to Netflix, the new Toronto facilities will provide up to 1,850 production jobs per year. Both sites will support upcoming Netflix series and films, including horror anthology series “Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight” and feature film “Let It Snow,” based on the book by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle.
The City of Toronto did not offer Netflix any tax breaks or other incentives for the studio pacts, according to a spokesman for the city. The province of Ontario offers a film and TV production services tax credit of 21.5% to foreign-controlled corporations (stipulating that Ontario labor is at least 25% of the qualifying production expenditures claimed); that can be combined with Canada’s federal tax credit of 16% to eligible film or video productions.
“With this commitment to Cinespace and Pinewood Toronto, we are proud to continue our investment in Canada and Canadian films and series,” Ty Warren, Netflix’s VP of physical production, said in a statement. “These new leases will enable us to expand our presence in Canada and provide a wealth of production jobs for skilled Canadian workers.”
In the bigger of the two Toronto projects, Netflix will expand its presence inside the city’s Marine Terminal 51 and the Cruise Ship Terminal, owned by PortsToronto and under long-term lease to Cinespace. Those new facilities are expected to be operational by the summer of 2019.
Toronto Mayor John Tory, in a statement provided by Netflix, said, “I’ve been excited from Day One about the interest Netflix has shown in establishing a much bigger presence in Toronto. Great crews, great studio space, great customer service and great companies like Netflix make Toronto the best place in North America to make television shows and movies.”
Netflix’s expanded footprint in the Great White North follows its announcement to acquire the ABQ Studios complex in Albuquerque, N.M., last fall to serve as a major U.S. production hub.
Over the years, Canada has been home to several Netflix productions. Current series filming in Canada include “V-Wars” in Northern Ontario and “October Faction” in Toronto, along with an untitled film starring Sam Worthington directed by Brad Anderson in Winnipeg and an untitled film to be directed by Patrice Laliberté in Quebec.
Previous Netflix productions in Toronto have included “The Christmas Chronicles” starring Kurt Russell; action-thriller “Polar”; and upcoming sci-fi thriller “In the Shadow of the Moon.”
Other Netflix originals produced in Canada include “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Lost in Space,” “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” “Death Note,” “Game Over Man” and “Always Be My Maybe” (all in Vancouver); “The Package” (multiple locations in British Columbia); “Christmas Inheritance” and “The Holiday Calendar” (Northern Ontario); “How It Ends” (Winnipeg); “Hold the Dark” (Calgary and Kananaskis Country); “Good Sam” (Montreal); and “I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House” (Ottawa).
In addition, Netflix has teamed with Canadian production partners to co-produce series including limited series “Alias Grace” (CBC), “Anne with an E” (CBC), “Travelers” (Showcase), and “Frontier” (Discovery Canada).
Pictured above: Pinewood Toronto Studios’ main building