News Release
March 13, 2019

Mayor John Tory will join Shazam! director David F. Sandberg and cast members Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer at 4 p.m. on Thursday to unveil a world-exclusive, free “fan experiential activation” at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square.

The City of Toronto’s xoTO Neighbourhood Givebacks program amplifies what screen productions in Toronto are doing to thank the communities they film in. This week, Warner Bros. Pictures Canada production Shazam! is giving back to the city through special experiences for residents, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto and their Toronto crew.

Using actual sets and props from production of the Shazam! superhero film (based on the comic book character of the same name and shot in Toronto), fans will be able to enter through a massive, 20-foot-tall (six-metre) lightning bolt and immerse themselves in two key moments from the film.

On Thursday, March 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Friday, March 15 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., fans will be able to “ride” on a subway car resembling the TTC subway and hop off to enter the mysterious Rock of Eternity for their chance to hold the epic Wizard Staff and become Shazamified! Participants will receive a complimentary video of their experience, as well as screening passes and other exclusive prizes.

This production is also giving back to the community with two advance screenings of the film featuring an introduction from Mayor Tory, the director and members of the cast. Many contests have been running offering local residents the chance to win tickets to the fan screening, while the other screening is for the Toronto crew that worked on the film. To further express their appreciation to Toronto, Shazam! will also be hosting a special fan experience for some members of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto.

Shazam! opens in theatres on April 5 and local residents will have fun spotting many familiar locations.

Toronto’s screen industry brings nearly $2 billion in production investment to the city and employs more than 30,000 people. The total local production spend for Shazam! was more than $55 million. This spend includes labour, as well as goods and services such as hotels, catering, and lumber and construction supplies.

Other recent xoTO neighbourhood givebacks include:
• Private Eyes acknowledged wrapping filming season three by donating to The Local Charity
• Good Witch celebrated wrapping filming of season five by donations to Red Door Family Shelter and SickKids Toronto
• The Handmaid’s Tale donated a new theatre curtain for Bruce Public School

Productions looking for direction on how to create high-impact givebacks for areas of the city they have filmed in and/or to have help in spreading the word on givebacks they have done can contact


“We are excited to put a spotlight on the many special things that film productions give back to our neighbourhoods. I encourage Torontonians to check out the free activation on March 14 and 15, and to celebrate productions like Shazam! that draw on the incredible artistic and technical talent our city has to offer.”
– Mayor John Tory

“The City is happy to help the screen industry give back to Toronto’s residents and communities. The production crews are delighted to offer Toronto residents an inside peak at the world-class creative magic developed by the screen industry in our city.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Councillor for Ward 21 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

Find out more about Toronto’s screen industry at Follow xoTO on social media on Twitter at, on Facebook at and on Instagram at

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.9 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at, on Instagram at or on Facebook at

Anastasia Saradoc
Economic Development and Culture