Toronto will be home to a lot more lights, camera, and action with the addition of a shiny new world-class film and television production studio.
Today, the Public Sector Pension Investment (PSP Investments) -- one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers -- announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with real estate investment and operating group Hackman Capital Partners for a long-term ground lease at Downsview to build the studio.
The future state-of-the-art studio will occupy space on the Downsview Airport Lands in North York, adding to Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) already bustling TV and film scene, which was alive and well throughout the pandemic despite the never-ending lockdown.
"Hackman Capital Partners is the world's leading independent owner and operator of film and television properties, and we are proud to partner with Michael Hackman, CEO, and the team in support of an industry that attracts nearly $2 billion each year to Toronto,” said Kristopher Wojtecki, Managing Director, Real Estate Investments, PSP Investments.
“Moreover, the studio will embrace an innovative approach to sustainable design that will exceed the City of Toronto's Green Standard Version 3, Tier 2 – further demonstrating how PSP is putting sustainability at the centre of our investments strategy,” he continued.
With an investment of $200M from PSP Investments, the studio will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the entertainment industry and beyond.
“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, with the goal of creating jobs and bolstering local and inward creative sector investment while reaffirming the city's stature as one of the world's leading destinations for film and television production,” says Michael Hackman, CEO of Hackman Capital Partners.
The future studio is surrounded by world-class research and innovation centers and benefits from proximity and connectivity to public transportation and highways. Northcrest Developments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PSP Investments, will be directly involved in the integration of all future developments at Downsview.
"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, Northcrest Developments.
If we needed an uplifting sign that Toronto will come back to life as vibrant and colourful as it once was, this could just be one of (hopefully) many on the arts and culture front.