Why Film in Toronto
Toronto is one of the top five screen-based industries in North America with a full scope of industry connections, services, suppliers, talent, crew, facilities and locations delivering everything required for success in pre-production through post production.
Toronto is at the heart of the province’s film and television production sector. This dynamic sector is an outlet for creativity and talent; a place where not only actors, but also other specialists such as designers, carpenters, make-up artists, animators and writers can hone their craft and thrive.
- Large multicultural pool of actors among approximately 10,000 Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television & Radio Artists (ACTRA) members
- Depth of professional experts including seasoned producers, directors, production designers, and location managers
- Award-winning animators, visual/ special effects professionals, game developers
- World-class sound engineers, colorists and editors
- Thousands of skilled, dedicated professional crew members
The City of Toronto in collaboration with the local screen industry, has established xoTO Schools, a pilot program with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to enable enhanced access for location filming in 11 pre-approved TDSB properties. The scouting and permit application processes are streamlined for each of these properties, with the program offering a special daily rate card and 72-hour permit turnaround. More information on the program and the 11 sites currently participating are available through Ontario Creates and the City’s news release.
- Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute
- Central Toronto Academy
- Civic Centre
- Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute
- Eastern Commerce/First Nations/Subway Academy of Toronto
- Forest Hill Junior and Senior Public School
- Humberside Collegiate Institute
- Joseph Brant Public School
- Sheldon Centre for Outdoor Education
- Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute
- Westview Centennial Secondary School
xoTO Schools also creates interactive educational opportunities for students. Co-op placements will be created through the academic year in categories such as makeup, hair, sound, special effects, props, set decoration, costume design, continuity, lighting, grip, construction, paint and transportation. The students will work with industry professionals, providing them with unprecedented on-the-job training that will best position those who want to further their education and employment opportunities in the industry. Toronto’s unions and guilds will also work with the TDSB to provide students access to industry workshops, seminars, events and guest speakers that support existing TDSB film arts curriculum, and to educate students on the variety of jobs available in the film industry.
To apply for a xoTO Schools TDSB Co-op placement the student must be attending a TDSB school, be 16 years or older and have a minimum of 16 credits. Students must obtain a Co-op placement application from their school’s Co-op or Student Services Department.
Film Commissions, Government & Industry Connections
- The City of Toronto provides one-stop concierge service throughout the production and maintains a positive relationship with unions and guilds
- The Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Board (Film Board) liaises with local councillors
- Toronto/Ontario office in Los Angeles
- Ontario Creates, our provincial partner, provides support for the screen-based industry through:
- Ontario Film commission, which provides support for location scouting, industry information, and introduction facilitation
- Digital Locations Database with 170,000 images
- Ontario Production Guide – a comprehensive listing of services and programs
- Tax Office which co-administers tax credits offered by the province
- Funding support to domestic screen-based companies and international co-productions
- FilmOntario, an industry-funded, non-partisan, screen-based (film/interactive/television), 30,000 strong consortium of companies, producers, unions, guilds, financial services and organizations within Ontario, and generates over $2.5 billion in direct economic activity annually. FilmOntario’s emphasis is on marketing Ontario as a screen-based content creator and production jurisdiction, and working with all levels of government so that policies and programs ensure our international competitiveness.
- Green Screen Toronto is a support and learning organization ready to assist productions to reduce their environmental footprint
Studios, Locations & Suppliers
- Approximately 2 million square feet of space to accommodate a full range of large and small productions
- Studio expansion will bring over 450,000 sq ft new studio space
- State-of-the-art sound stages
- The world’s largest purpose-built sound stage
- Diverse locations to suit your script
- Toronto doubles for New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago and other US locales as well as international cities such as Paris, London, Morocco, Saigon and Tehran
- 5-star hotels, restaurants and clubs, galleries, museums, theatres and events
- World-renowned full-service post-production facilities and labs
- Cutting-edge special and visual effects companies
- Award-winning animation companies
- Innovative equipment houses to support every need
- Expert professional service companies to assist with legal, financial and administrative work
- Toronto has a long history of being at the forefront of technological development and innovation from the invention of IMAX, development of Maya and Houdini software and various rigs.
- Toronto’s developments in stereoscopic 3D are built on partnerships between the industry and our post-secondary institutions.
- Sheridan College, connected to two Oscar-winning animations, and York University are leaders in technological innovation. Other colleges such as George Brown, Centennial and Humber as well as universities OCADU, UOIT and Ryerson are preparing students for everything from film production to the latest technologies for visual effects, gaming and animation.
- A number of these institutions support incubators and are assisting in the emergence of exciting new companies that will deepen Toronto’s capacity to produce cross-platform products and staff our expanding digital base.
Film & Television Tax Credits
Toronto is the world’s most tax competitive major city for business (KPMG Focus on Tax, 2016). Many of the incentives and tax credit programs offered are for film, television and digital media.
- Tax incentives include stackable, as well as domestic and treaty co-production tax credits.
- Various tax credits can be combined offering savings of up to 45% on qualified labour costs and up to 35.2% on total production costs.
- The City of Toronto is advocating to maintain up to 33% long term tax incentive security with the Ontario Premier and with other levels of government.
- There is no individual cap on the eligible credit per production or on the number of productions that can access the credits.
- Credits are permanent and fully refundable.
Visit Ontario Creates to find out about and apply for the tax credits they administer:
- Film & Television Credit (OFTTC)
- Production Services Credit (OPSTC)
- Computer Animation & Special Effects Credit (OCASE)
- Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC)
Visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to find out about and apply for the tax credits they administer: