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Urban Living

Toronto Announces Development Partner for Port Lands’ $250M Basin Media Hub

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There’s now a developer attached to the anticipated Basin Media Hub in Toronto’s up-and-coming Port Lands area. 

Today, Mayor John Tory announced that Hackman Capital Partners (HCP) and its affiliate The MBS Group (MBS) will develop and operate the $250M, purpose-built, state-of-the-art film, television, and digital media hub to be located on an 8.9-acre waterfront development parcel at 29, 35, and 41 Basin St.

The HCP-MBS partnership was selected through a competitive market offering process launched by CreateTO, on behalf of the City, in 2020 and concluded in 2021. 

HCP is a privately-held real estate investment and operating company that specializes in buying, renovating, and re-imagining commercial, vintage industrial, and studio properties. MBS is an industry-leading studio operations, production services, and studio-based equipment provider.

The HCP-MBS Basin Media Hub proposal approved by CreateTO last month and City Council last week includes 500,000 square feet of eight purpose-built sound stages, production office space, along with workshop and production support space. Once completed, the shiny new hub will further contribute to Toronto’s maintenance of its “Hollywood North” nickname. 

In fact, the $250M investment in the development will be one of the most significant contributions to Toronto’s film and television production ecosystem in more than two decades. After completion of the construction phase — which is slated to begin by 2023 — the expected economic impact of on-going film studio operations includes $280M in economic activity, $119M in net contribution to GDP, and $32M in tax revenues across all levels of government. 

The partnership is expected to create 750 jobs on-site as well as 880 indirect or induced jobs in the broader community.

“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,” said Toronto Mayor Joh Tory in a statement. “This is a major investment in the future of Toronto’s screen industry and I look forward to seeing this $250 million project get underway – it will help ensure that our city comes back stronger than ever.”

Basin Media Hub

Through its proposal, HCP-MBS has committed to establishing a Basin Media Hub endowment for a local training program with a $1 million initial investment and funding for a Program Coordinator. HCP-MBS will provide training space onsite and support site visits, talks and work experience opportunities for local schools in order to promote a diverse range of careers in the film industry and support training and jobs for people from equity-seeking groups. 

The training program will be managed by MBS University (MBSu), a division of MBS that has a wealth of experience in creating customized programs for hands-on practical crew training. HCP-MBS has also committed to establishing a $1 million fund to support and encourage Canadian content creation.

But it’s not just TV and film industry folks or fans that will benefit from the Basin Media Hub. 

In addition to providing much-needed studio and production space within Toronto, the proposed development will provide the opportunity for HCP-MBS to partner with the City to deliver a public promenade along the water’s edge, helping to further transform this area of the Port Lands into a healthier and more liveable space. 

Personally, we can’t wait until production officially “wraps” on the shiny new hub and surrounding reimagined area.

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