downsview studio campus

A $200 million film studio is coming to Toronto but it's not where you think

A new film studio is in the works for Toronto, the first phase of a planned Downsview Studio Campus aiming to bring a major production hub to the vast airport site in North York.

The application landed with city planners just days before another significant studio announcement was revealed for Toronto. Weeks later, details of the latest win for the city's film industry are finally coming to light.

Located just south of the BMO training ground, the project is one facet in a larger framework from Northcrest Developments and Canada Lands Company, aiming to transform 520 acres of land into a mixed-use innovation-focused district known as id8 Downsview.

downsview studio campus

Aerial view facing north over the currently-vacant site where the first eight soundstages would be built, visible just south of the soccer fields. Image via Google Maps.

Northcrest is partnering with Hackman Capital Partners to bring the new $200 million film hub to the city.

The owner and operator of dozens of film and television properties worldwide is the same company involved in the $250 million investment coming to the Port Lands with the Basin Media Hub revealed last week.

downsview studio campus

Looking southwest over the initial phase of the Downsview Studio Campus, which would have room to expand once Bombardier vacates the adjacent hangars. Rendering by BDP Quadrangle.

That's almost half a billion dollars combined that will be injected into our city's growing film industry in the coming years.

Announced back in July of 2021, the first phase in the studio's construction would give Toronto's film scene 57,329 square metres (or over 617,000 square feet) of new film studio and support spaces.

Eight new soundstages would significantly increase the city's film capacity, complemented by production support, mill shops, and production and management offices.

East of the proposed building, the studio would include a large outdoor backlot filming area.

Much of Toronto's film production industry is currently concentrated in the Port Lands area, though this new studio will make the business more accessible for those living further out in Toronto's inner suburbs.

"This plan not only will create thousands of film and television jobs, it will open the door to a new media, technology and innovation hub at Downsview that we can build upon and grow for years to come," said Christopher Eby, Executive Vice President of Northcrest Developments, in a statement issued earlier this year.

With Bombardier on the way out of the facility to the south, there will be plenty of room for future expansion. For now, the outdoor backlot proposed east of the soundstages has been designed for future flexibility such as an expansion.

"Subject to approval by City officials, our long-term plan envisions more than 1 million square feet of production and support space, with soundstages ranging from 20,000 square feet to 80,000 square feet," stated Michael Hackman, CEO of Hackman Capital Partners, of the project.

Lead photo by

BDP Quadrangle

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