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Toronto just skyrocketed in rankings of top places to live and work in the film industry

Film and television studios are being built in Toronto at rates never before seen, the city quickly cementing itself as one of the world's top destinations for the film industry. It's happening so fast that the workforce is struggling to keep up with all the growth, and film industry voices have noticed Toronto's rapid ascent.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Toronto ranked among the MovieMaker magazine's top places to live and work in the film industry, climbing an impressive ten spots since last year's roundup, making it all the way to #2 on the list of 25 large cities with a leap that more than doubled the closest competitor.

The lists exclude the expected top-ranking cities of Los Angeles and New York, divided into their own "Hall of Fame" category. What’s left are some surprising selections that you may not have expected.

Ahead of Toronto in the top position for large cities is Albuquerque, New Mexico, which has exploded onto the scene in the last decade with major productions like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Vancouver and Chicago, traditionally larger film production markets than Toronto, ranked sixth and seventh, respectively. Hear that, Vancouver? The prestigious title of Hollywood North is up for grabs, and Toronto has its sights set on it.

Other Canadian cities in the top ten include Montreal in the #4 spot and Calgary landing at #10.

"We are delighted to see Toronto ranked so highly on MovieMaker's list of best places to live and make movies. Production in Toronto has been strong throughout the pandemic due to the collaboration between all levels of government and industry partners," said Mayor John Tory.

"The City will continue to prioritize inclusive growth and the expansion of film studio space to support a thriving screen industry in Toronto. We know supporting a strong film industry here is one way we are working to ensure our city comes back stronger than ever from the pandemic."

It's a substantial climb in the rankings for Toronto, something MovieMaker Editor-in-Chief Tim Molloy attributes to "growing production spending in spite of the pandemic, a thriving film culture fuelled by the Toronto International Film Festival, generous tax credits and highly skilled crews."

Looking to the future, Molloy sees a bright tomorrow for production and post-production in the city, saying that thanks to "plans to dramatically increase its number of sound stages, the sky's the limit. And Toronto is, of course, one of the most beloved and livable cities in North America, assuring a great quality of life and work-life balance."

And statistics back up Molloy's optimism, studio space in the city projected to grow by a whopping 63 per cent by 2025 with a handful of large production campuses in the works across Toronto.

Lead photo by

City of Toronto

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