Toronto Mayor John Tory recently announced the Port Lands will soon be home to a new $250-million, state-of-the-art film, television and digital media hub – just the latest in a string of good news stories for Toronto’s film industry and those looking to work in it.
The Basin Media Hub – which will be developed and operated by Hackman Capital Partners (HCP) and its affiliate The MBS Group (MBS) – will feature eight purpose-built sound stages, production office space, and workshop and production support space on an 8.9-acre waterfront development parcel located on Basin Street.
Tory touted the project as “one of the most significant contributions to Toronto’s film and television production ecosystem in more than two decades.”
“The development of the Basin Media Hub in the heart of the Media City District will help us increase production capacity in the film, television and digital media sector, create new jobs and employment training opportunities, and further enhance our ability to attract and retain production investment from around the world,” Tory said.
That sentiment was echoed by Toronto Film School President Andrew Barnsley, who was particularly delighted to hear the project is expected to create more than 750 jobs on-site, as well as 880 indirect or induced jobs in the broader community.
“This is nothing but good news for the industry in Toronto, all its stakeholders and the production ecosystem – including Toronto Film School,” Barnsley said.
“The opportunities this presents to our students and alumni will be remarkable. It’ll be really exciting to see what unfolds as this new hub comes online.”
The Basin Media Hub news comes at a time when global demand for Toronto talent is expected to rise in lockstep with the likewise meteoric increase in demand for studio space here in the city – a prediction based on the following series of industry successes, as reported by the city’s Film, Television and Digital Media Office:
As part of the Basin Media Hub project, HCP-MBS has also committed to establishing a $1 million fund to support and encourage Canadian content creation.
Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher, who also serves as chair of the Film, Television & Digital Media Board, lauded the project for its impact on job creation in the film industry.
“Not only will the Basin Media Hub add approximately 500,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art sound stages and office space to support film, television, and digital production in the city, but this project will also provide training space and work experience opportunities to develop a workforce for a diverse range of careers in the media production industry, with a particular focus on people in equity deserving groups,” she said in a statement.
To help support those ends, the city also recently announced the expansion of its xoTO Screen Industry Pathways – the Film Office’s workforce development initiatives aimed at growing and diversifying the talent pool in Toronto alongside unions and guilds, training community groups, and educational institutions.
The approach is threefold:
Toronto Film School students, Barnsley said, are well positioned for future employment under the initiative – especially given the foundation of knowledge and training they’re gaining from the school’s slate of fast-paced, hands-on, and highly collaborative programs, all taught by industry-active professors.
“This feels like the beginning of a good news story. It feels like we’re on track for future, continued growth,” Barnsley added.
“And I think Toronto Film School students should be feeling very confident going into an industry that will value their education.”