February 19, 2019 8 months 3 days ago

Netflix says 1,850 annual jobs to be created with new Toronto production hub

Leasing studio space from Cinespace and Pinewood

TORONTO – Netflix announced a significant expansion of its Canadian production presence this morning.

The company said today it is creating a dedicated production hub in Toronto, leasing four sound stages and office space from each of Cinespace Studios (164,000 sq. ft.) and Bell Media’s Pinewood Toronto Studios (84,580 sq. ft.) for multiple years.

Financial details were not disclosed but the new agreement will help Cinespace expand its film and television production presence inside Marine Terminal 51 and the Cruise Ship Terminal, owned by Ports Toronto and under long-term lease to Cinespace, said that company’s press release.

Both studios’ sites will support upcoming Netflix 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, said the company.

The new spaces add to Netflix’s existing physical production footprint in Canada, which already includes a lease of British Columbia’s Martini Film Studios, as well as production sites Netflix sets up across Canada on a production-by-production basis, said the company.

The series and films the global streamer has made in Canada since 2012 include Hemlock Grove (Toronto), A Series of Unfortunate Events (Vancouver), Lost in Space (Vancouver), The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Vancouver), 1922 (Vancouver), The Package (multiple locations in British Columbia), 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, adds the release.

As readers may already know, Netflix has partnered with Canadian production partners to co-produce series for global audiences including Anne with an E (CBC), Travelers (Showcase), Frontier (Discovery Canada) and Alias Grace (CBC).

In 2017, Netflix committed to investing C$500 million in content production over the next five years in Canada and is on track to exceed that, says the company, which reportedly spent more than US$13 billion on content production last year alone.

“These new leases will enable us to expand our presence in Canada and provide a wealth of production jobs for skilled Canadian workers,” said Ty Warren, vice-president physical production for Netflix, in the release.

“Netflix has made an auspicious choice for its new production hub and the Cinespace family welcomes them. We are especially gratified to be creating a new inventory of studio and support space for Netflix to fill with new production volumes and new jobs,” said Steve Mirkopoulos, CEO of Cinespace, in the release.

“Pinewood Toronto Studios is delighted to be welcoming Netflix to Toronto’s largest purpose-built studio facilities,” added Nanci MacLean, president, Pinewood Toronto Studios (which already announced it is expanding by 200,000 sq. ft.).

Producer J. Miles Dale (Oscar-winner The Shape of Water) added in the release: “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.”

Netflix has over 139 million subscribers in over 190 countries.