Toronto is one of North America’s biggest hubs for both tech and film.
In other words, it’s a perfect fit for one of the online entertainment industry’s biggest companies to open up shop in the city. Mayor John Tory thinks so too, suggesting recently that Netflix is looking to open a production hub in Hollywood North.
“I have a very high level of confidence, without betraying confidences that aren’t yet concrete, that they’re going to,” Tory said at Tuesday’s Toronto Film Critics Association Awards gala. “They’ve been in active discussions with our industry, with me, about wanting to create one of their hubs here.”
Netflix currently has only one production facility in the world, in Los Angeles, and is planning two more for Madrid, Spain and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The decision partly depends on whether Toronto can offer the talent pool necessary to satisfy Netflix’s ambitious projects. Netflix also requires ample studio space and wants to retain a pardon from contributing to the Canada Media Fund, which finances homegrown programming. In lieu of this commitment, the company has committed to spending $500 million on Canadian productions over a five-year period.
“Their message to us has been very consistent in the four years I’ve been there: Don’t mess with the money, meaning the tax credits; build more studio space; get us an even deeper pool of talent by working to have more people available behind and in front of the camera; and give us good customer service,” said Tory.