Hollywood North: Why Toronto's film industry is booming
Kendra Mangione, CTVNews.ca Writer @kendramangione
Published Wednesday, May 27, 2015 9:03AM EDT
Toronto is becoming a popular destination for big budget movie makers thanks to the city's diverse landscape and multi-talented workforce.
There are currently 30 different productions being shot in the city, including "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2," featuring Nia Vardalos and John Corbett, and "Special Correspondents" with Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana.
The upcoming movie "Suicide Squad," based on the Batman comic series by the same name and starring Jared Leto, Ben Affleck and Margot Robbie, is also being shot in Toronto, leading to road closures across the city.
Approximately 500 local actors and crew members have been called in to work on the superhero flick.
Last year, $1.3 billion was spent on filming in Toronto, up 4.3 per cent from 2013, Toronto Film Sector Development Officer Michelle Alosinac told CTV's Canada AM on Wednesday.
Directors are lured north by an abundance of tax credits, including one from the federal government that covers 16 per cent of Canadian labour costs. The Ontario Media Development Corporation also provides several credits including a 35 per cent refundable credit on production expenditures.
Producers can also get tax credits for animation and special effects in Ontario.
In addition to the financial benefit, Alosinac says the province has worked hard to develop a well-trained labour force and supporting infrastructure.
"We have studios, our service providers are incredible," she said. Producers can shoot, edit and animate all in one city, rather than filming in Toronto then heading back to Hollywood.
"Our technical skills are incredible. Our digital animation, our computer visual effects, pre-visualization, we are extremely skilled. Globally, we are at the top of the game."
Alosinac said Toronto's landscape also offers a unique opportunity, allowing the city to stand in for Chicago, New York City and Washington D.C.
"We have spectacular locations themselves. We can mimic almost any urban environment as well as the natural world. We're really a fantastic destination."