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Drama Awards 2019

Netflix to create Toronto production hub

Streaming giant Netflix is creating a dedicated production hub in Toronto, leasing space at Pinewood Toronto Studios and Cinespace Studios.

Ty Warren

Both sites will support forthcoming Netflix series and films, including the horror anthology series Guillermo del Toro Presents Ten After Midnight and the movie Let It Snow. In total, the expansion will provide up to 1,850 production jobs per year, the company said.

At Pinewood, Netflix will lease four sound stages and adjacent office space comprising 84,580 sq ft, while at Cinespace it will lease four sound stages, along with office and support space totalling 164,000 sq ft.

The move comes after Netflix faced criticism at the PrimeTime in Ottawa conference earlier this year for its lack of contribution to Canada’s film and television industries.

CBC head Catherine Tait accused the SVoD giant of “cultural imperialism,” while Corus Entertainment head Doug Murphy and Bell Media’s president of content and programming Mike Cosentino also took shots at the US firm.

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

Past Netflix productions that have been made in Canada include horror series Hemlock Grove (Toronto), Lost in Space (Vancouver), The Package (multiple locations in British Columbia), Christmas Inheritance (Northern Ontario), How It Ends (Winnipeg) and Hold the Dark (Calgary and Kananaskis Country).

“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, Netflix’s VP of physical production. “These new leases will enable us to expand our presence in Canada and provide a wealth of production jobs for skilled Canadian workers.”

Toronto’s mayor John Tory added: “I’ve been excited from day one about the interest Netflix has shown in establishing a much bigger presence in Toronto. Great crews, great studio space, great customer service and great companies like Netflix make Toronto the best place in North America to make television shows and movies.”

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Drama Awards 2019
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