holding netflix on a screen

Netflix opening two new Toronto production studios

Netflix, leading media giant, has shared the company’s plans to set up a production hub in Toronto, according to CBC. The new locations are intended to provide key connections to local film talent.

The streaming company announced its plan to expand into Canada on Tuesday, “by leasing two studio spaces along the downtown industrial waterfront area.” The neighbourhood is already home to warehouses used as sound stages for film production.

Netflix will be leasing a total of eight sound stages at Cinespace Studios and Pinewood Studios respectively, along with office spaces at each building.

This additional and significant presence in Toronto’s film community is expected to bring in nearly two thousand jobs. Netflix said the new outposts will provide 1,850 Canadian jobs per year. The company failed to disclose if the leases will be permanent, but did mention a “multi-year” plan.

“This is great news for the Toronto and the Ontario community, because it’s an endorsement of the high quality of the work that comes out of our industry,” said Cinespace vice-president Jim Mirkopoulos.

“Netflix has made a commitment to the film and television industry here that they’re going to continue to do stuff and by making this announcement, they’re standing by that,” said Nancy MacLean, president at Pinewood Toronto Studios.

The move is set to be made within the upcoming weeks. The company also recently announced further international expansion efforts, including hubs in Madrid and Albuquerque.

Toronto Mayor John Tory had “a very high level of confidence” Netflix would take the trip north-east from California and open up some production spaces in the city. Tory has been travelling to Los Angeles in hopes of bringing more film projects to Toronto.

Responses from local talent are generally positive, many of whom seem excited about the prospect of new Canadian content funding.

On Netflix as a medium, Oscar-winner and Guillermo del Toro collaborator Miles Dale explains the freedom available:

“You can say whatever you want, you can show whatever you want, you can show real adult situations without the kind of censorship that comes in.”

How to Train Your Dragon director, Dean DeBlois, shared the sentiment:

“It’s the wild west of filmmaking within their particular format and I have several friends who have gone to Netflix with original projects and they’re just having the best time of their careers.”