The City of Toronto will install two power drop kiosks at film industry hotspots Ashbridges Bay/Woodbine Beach and Sir Casimir Gzowski Park. Power drops are fixed electrical stations that allow film productions to plug in to grid electrical power.
To launch the pilot project, City officials were on hand at Ashbridges Bay parking lot at 1561 Lake Shore Blvd. E., to demonstrate how the power drop will help film productions reduce their reliance on diesel generators at these sites, which will help eliminate the carbon emissions they produce and improve air quality. The power drop in Sir Casimir Gzowski Park will be completed soon.
These filming locations have sufficient existing electrical service to supply the needs of the power drops, eliminating the need for the diesel generators customarily used by productions, creating a potential reduction of 400 tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year, or the equivalent annual energy use of 45 homes. This total is film-usage only, based on past usage patterns, pointing to even greater GHG emissions reductions as local events, food trucks and other users could also take advantage of the kiosks.
Delivered as part of the City’s TransformTO Net Zero Climate Action Strategy to reduce carbon emissions in Toronto to net zero by 2040, this project was made possible through the work of multiple City divisions and agencies. Using extensive location permitting data, top locations used by film productions were identified – some of which are parks. The City also partnered with Toronto Hydro to assess which locations had sufficient available grid-power and which would be most viable financially and logistically. In partnership with the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, GHG emissions reduction calculations were provided to quantify the project’s impact.
During a recent City film industry business development mission to Los Angeles, feedback from production clients including studios and streamers reinforced the importance placed on the availability of environmentally-friendly production infrastructure. These power drops will be a key feature in anchoring Toronto as a green, film-friendly location and play an active role in attracting more productions to the city.
After a record-breaking year in 2021, in which production volume grew to $2.5 billion, Toronto’s screen production industry continues to experience rapid growth and momentum in 2022. The city has seen multiple new production facilities open, and studio space is expected to grow by 68 per cent between 2021 and 2025, creating thousands of new jobs for Torontonians.
Toronto’s accelerated TransformTO Net Zero Climate Action Strategy, which was adopted by City Council in December 2021, set Toronto on a path to reduce community-wide emissions to net zero by 2040. Toronto’s net zero target is one of the most ambitious in North America. The power drops are an example of the City’s commitment to demonstrate leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the economy.
Council directed the City to move forward with the power drop pilot in May 2021.
More information about TransformTO is available on the City’s TransformTO webpage.
Toronto’s film and TV sector has been growing at an expansive rate and as a city we want to see that continue. A big part of our success is the work we have done to address the various needs of the sector and production companies that are choosing Toronto for their projects. During our most recent mission to Los Angeles to garner the interest of future productions and to strengthen relations with current partners, we heard from the industry about the importance of environmentally friendly ways to deliver power to film and TV sets. Today’s announcement is our answer to that call. Now through these two kiosks we can not only advance our TransformTO goals in making our city cleaner and greener, but that we are meeting the needs of an industry that has been thriving. I want to thank all of our partners for making this possible and for helping us lead the way with this new and innovative technology.
– Mayor of Toronto