Ontario reports record-breaking year for TV & film production

Ontario had a record-breaking year for film and television production, according to new  stats released by Ontario Creates, the Government of Ontario agency dedicated to growing the province’s creative industries.

Ontario reported its highest production levels to date in 2021 with 394 productions bringing in $2.88 billion in spending. In addition to dollar value, those figures represent over 48,000 full-time equivalent direct and spin-off jobs, up 38% from 2020.

Ontario Creates says part of the boom can be attributed to COVID-19 recovery after a brief industry shut down in early 2020, but the growth in production is also a testament to what the province has to offer.

“We are thrilled to see Ontario’s film and television industry leading the province’s economic recovery,” said Karen Thorne-Stone, President and CEO of Ontario Creates, in a release. “These figures are a testament to our robust health and safety protocols, impressive suite of financial incentives, ongoing studio space expansion, diverse talent pool, and an unmatched range of film-friendly locations.”

Among the higher-profile productions made in Ontario last year were Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-nominated feature film Nightmare Alley; foreign television series like Reacher, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Star Trek: Discovery; and domestic series, including Pretty Hard Cases, Children Ruin Everything, and the long-running Murdoch Mysteries. 

Domestic film and television production contributed $965 million after a lull in 2020, with domestic television series production particularly robust in 2021, with 115 productions contributing over $707 million in spending.

Foreign production also remained strong, led by television, with expenditures exceeding $1.9 billion. Live action production accounted for 361 of the total 394 productions.

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