Netflix expands Canadian footprint with dedicated Toronto production hub

Netflix is expanding its Canadian production footprint, establishing a Toronto hub that includes multi-year leases with Cinespace Studios and Pinewood Toronto.

Netflix has announced it’s creating a dedicated production hub in Toronto, that will include multi-year leases with Cinespace Studios and Pinewood Toronto Studios.

At Cinespace, Netflix will lease four sound stages, along with office and support space totaling approximately 164,000 square feet. The streaming giant will lease another four sound stages and adjacent office space at Pinewood comprising approximately 84,580 square feet.

Netflix says both sites will support upcoming series and films, including the horror anthology series Guillermo del Toro Presents Ten After Midnight, the film Let It Snow and others, which will provide production jobs for up to 1,850 Canadians per year. The new spaces add to Netflix’s existing production footprint in Canada, which already includes a lease of B.C’s Martini Film Studios, as well as production sites set up across the country on a production-by-production basis.

Since 2012, Netflix has produced more than two dozen projects in Canada including horror series Hemlock Grove (Toronto), the Emmy Award-winning A Series of Unfortunate Events (Vancouver), Lost in Space (Vancouver), The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Vancouver) and films 1922 (Vancouver), The Package (multiple locations in B.C.), Game Over Man (Vancouver), Christmas Inheritance (Northern Ontario), Death Note (Vancouver), How It Ends (Winnipeg), Hold the Dark (Calgary and Kananaskis Country), The Holiday Calendar (Northern Ontario), In The Tall Grass (multiple locations in Ontario, and Calgary), In the Shadow of the Moon (Toronto), Polar (Toronto), Always Be My Maybe (Vancouver), Good Sam (Montreal), I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (Ottawa) and The Christmas Chronicles (Toronto)Current series filming in Canada include V-Wars (Northern Ontario) and October Faction (Toronto), along with an untitled film starring Sam Worthington, directed by Brad Anderson (Winnipeg), and an untitled film to be directed by Patrice Laliberté in Quebec.

Netflix has also partnered on several Canadian co-productions including Anne with an E (CBC), Travelers (Showcase), Frontier (Discovery Canada) and limited series Alias Grace (CBC).

Netflix says it is still on track to exceed its 2017 commitment to invest $500 million in Canadian content production over five years.

“With this commitment to Cinespace and Pinewood Toronto, we are proud to continue our investment in Canada and Canadian films and series,” said Ty Warren, vice-president, Physical Production for Netflix. “These new leases will enable us to expand our presence in Canada and provide a wealth of production jobs for skilled Canadian workers.”

Ford government credited with creating “stability” for film sector

In a separate release issued by Cinespace, the company credited the Doug Ford government for keeping Ontario competitive as a destination for film and television production.

“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 Ford. “We welcome Netflix to Toronto, and we look forward to continued growth in this dynamic sector.”

J. Miles Dale, the Oscar-winning producer behind 2018 Best Picture winner 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,” said Dale.

Netflix is now the world’s leading internet entertainment service with 139 million paid subscribers in over 190 countries.