Netflix to expand production presence inside new studios and offices in Port of Toronto

TORONTOFeb. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ - Cinespace Film Studios (Cinespace) today announced the signing of a multi-year lease with Netflix to expand its film and television production presence inside Marine Terminal 51 and the Cruise Ship Terminal, owned by PortsToronto and under long-term lease to Cinespace. The news comes the morning Netflix announced the creation of its Toronto production hub, expanding its production presence in Canada.

"The Cinespace family is very pleased to have Netflix committed to our newest downtown film studio campus," said Steve Mirkopoulos, President and CEO of Cinespace. "These new facilities – to be open and operational by the summer of 2019 – will feature 164,000 square feet of new production space, giving Netflix an ideal location to centralize their production of top content and to catalyze job creation inside Toronto's strategically important downtown Studio District. We thank City of Toronto Mayor John Tory and PortsToronto CEO Geoffrey Wilson for facilitating this tremendous achievement."

Netflix's new production hub in Toronto will take advantage of the area's globally-renowned and award-winning film production infrastructure, which includes deep pools of creative talent, technicians, suppliers and filming locations. Toronto's overall film and television production volumes have reached $2 billion in recent years and have resulted in tens of thousands of jobs both directly and indirectly.

In addition to Toronto's Netflix activity, Northern Ontario has also benefitted from several Netflix productions, demonstrating that film and television volumes rely on Ontario's overall competitiveness as a film jurisdiction.  "Without Ontario Premier Doug Ford's critical 'Open for Business' approach and without Finance Minister Vic Fedeli's strong statements of stability for our sector, there would simply not be a Netflix production hub, or any repeat production volumes to speak of. Our provincial leaders are our strongest partners and advocates," said Jim Mirkopoulos, Vice President, Cinespace.

"Early in our mandate, we met with key stakeholders in this industry to reinforce our commitment to a steady, predictable business environment for them.", stated Premier Ford. "We welcome Netflix to Toronto, and we look forward to continued growth in this dynamic sector."  Finance Minister Fedeli added, "Supported by the Province of Ontario, this multi-billion dollar industry full of world-class creative talent and storytellers and highly-skilled production workers is making significant and growing contributions to Ontario's economy and quality of life. Our government is committed to providing stability and support to ensure this key cultural industry can compete and remain the best in Canada, and one of the best in the world."

For Mayor Tory, the creation of a Netflix production hub in Toronto is a major milestone in his years of lobbying the Hollywood studios and digital platforms to send more business to Toronto, as well as his continuous urging of City agencies to audit their inventories for large sites that could be leased to the film industry. "I am thrilled with the news that PortsToronto and Toronto's studio veterans – Cinespace – will host Netflix's expanded production presence in Toronto," said Mayor Tory.  "Our talented people will now be even more prominent both in front of, and behind the camera, Toronto's unmatched diversity of locations will be streamed even more regularly around the world, and the powerful economic impact of this new investment will spill over into every corner of our City for years to come."

"Areas within our PortsToronto property have long served as unique backdrops and filming locations for this industry and we are pleased that facilities in our port will now serve as an official gateway for the burgeoning sector of digital content creation," said Geoffrey Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto. "The Port of Toronto continues to be a significant import centre bringing approximately 2 million metric tonnes of bulk cargo and construction materials to our city annually, as well as supporting a growing passenger cruise ship business. Ports globally are beginning to 'layer in' complementary industries, and we are ahead of the curve in recognizing the opportunities of diversifying our properties in order to provide key infrastructure and support to an industry with significant economic and cultural impact to the region. We look forward to an expanded partnership with Cinespace and we are very excited to see the content and talent that emerges from this innovative collaboration."

City Councillor Paula Fletcher, Co-Chair of the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Board said, "Toronto's screen industry contributes to the vitality, prosperity and creativity of our city. This initiative will drive business investment, create more jobs and build on the remarkable achievements of this growing sector which already supports an estimated 30,000 jobs. The Netflix production hub is good for business, good for the area and good for Toronto."

Oscar-winning Producer J. Miles Dale (Best Picture, "The Shape of Water"), hailed the announcement as a critical step in growing Toronto's film infrastructure.  "As a 30-year producer in Toronto and one of the first-ever clients of Cinespace, I've witnessed our people mature into award-winning crews and now I am seeing our infrastructure grow to meet this new demand, so I'm very gratified with this announcement. Both I – along with my producing partner Guillermo Del Toro – cannot wait to bring our own slate of projects to Toronto's new Netflix production hub."

Toronto-based television Producer John Weber, producer of "Handmaid's Tale" and "Vikings", also welcomed the news of Netflix's creation of a production hub: "We have had the privilege of producing for Netflix on two projects based in Toronto. Both "Black Mirror" and the currently in-production series "Locke & Key" represent content produced in Ontariowhich will be viewed and enjoyed all over the world. There is no doubt that Netflix's expanded commitment to Torontowill create significant opportunities for the cast, crews and suppliers of Toronto's film industry."

About Cinespace Film Studios:

Cinespace Film Studios – a 30 years-running family business – is the largest private owner, operator and developer of studios for film, TV and digital media production in North America, with over 2 million square feet of space on over 100 acres in both Toronto and Chicago.  Through direct advisory relationships with local government and through meaningful partnerships and internship programs with institutions – including York University in Toronto and DePaul University in Chicago – Cinespace is a market leader in infrastructure development for the screen-based industries.

Currently hosted at Cinespace Toronto:
The Handmaid's Tale (MGM TV, series)
Condor (MGM TV, series)
Locke & Key (Netflix, series)
Umbrella Academy (Netflix, series)
Titans (Warner Brothers, series)
The Boys (Sony TV, series)
The Expanse (Alcon, series)
Good Witch (Hallmark TV)

Currently hosted at Cinespace Chicago:
Chicago Fire (NBC Universal, series)
Chicago PD (NBC Universal, series)
Chicago Med (NBC Universal, series)
Empire (Fox, series)
Presumed Innocent (Fox, series)
Mixtape (Netflix, series)
Utopia (Amazon, series)

SOURCE Cinespace Film Studios Inc.

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