Mayor John Tory to head to Tinseltown in a bid to boost Toronto's film industry
Last year was a record year for Los Angeles investment in Toronto, city says
Mayor John Tory is heading to Tinseltown in a bid to build on Toronto's billion-dollar film and television industry.
Tory will join a group of some 22 companies on a two-day trip to Los Angeles to promote the city's film, television and digital media industries. The trip follows a 2016 mission, in which Tory met with representatives of prominent studios, including CBS, Paramount, Sony and Warner to try to win over more production work for Toronto.
"Last year was a year of record investment by Los Angeles companies in our city," Tory said in a release on Thursday.
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"I am joining the Toronto film and television community to personally thank them for their confidence in us and to offer our efforts to attract more of these productions to our city that will have a long-term financial benefit for Toronto."
Investment in Toronto by Los Angeles-based production companies exceeded $800 million in 2016, the release said.
In 2016, Toronto was chosen for the production of CBS's new Star Trek: Discovery television series, the first time since series was filmed outside the U.S. ABC television series Designated Survivor also chose Toronto for its filming site.
Toronto has attracted some major productions in recent years, including Robocop, Poltergeist, Pixels, and most recently, the highly-anticipated superhero flick Suicide Squad. All were filmed at Pinewood Toronto Studios, which announced a major expansion at the Port Lands last year.
Many other productions have been shot in retrofitted warehouses or office buildings. Riverdale's Real Jerk restaurant became the set of the rapper Drake and singer Rihanna's latest music video for the collaboration Work.
Director X, the director of Drake's Hotline Bling music video, said more music videos should be shot in Toronto.
"It's not what people normally think of when they think about shooting something in Toronto," he said.
Director X said the costs in Canada can sometimes be two or three times lower than they would be in the U.S.
"Everybody knows movies, everybody knows TV," he told CBC Toronto. "I'm going to be talking about music videos."