Toronto film, TV, digital industry hit high of $2B in 2016, mayor says

Toronto film industry $2B in 2016: mayor

Toronto’s mayor says the film, television and digital industry spent $2 billion on productions in the city last year, topping the previous high of $1.5 billion in 2015.

John Tory says $800 million of last year’s total came from Los Angeles-based productions.

Tory says the academy award-winning film “Suicide Squad” employed more than 4,700 people while it was being filmed in Toronto.

He also notes that the TV series “Suits,” now in its seventh season, provides the equivalent of 2,300 full-time jobs.

In an effort to bring more work to Toronto, Tory says the city is moving to streamline processes for production companies and also work with residents in neighbourhoods impacted by filming.

He calls the industry a “key economic driver” for Toronto, saying the city must not be complacent and continue to fight for a growing share of the industry.

Tory told a news conference on Monday that he met with the studios that did production in the city last year to thank them for their business and to find out what would help them do more business in Toronto.

“They told me that we had to continue to invest in facilities, and they told me that we had to sell,” he said.

Vancouver has a full-time person in Los Angeles, Tory said, adding that Toronto’s other competition includes Atlanta, New York and London.

“We have every reason to be proud and aggressive,” he said. “We are competitive with them in every respect in the film and television and digital production industry, but we’ve got to go down and make sure we sell our story and not be complacent or shy as Canadians often are.”

 

The Canadian Press