Published January 23, 2023 at 12:01 pm
William F. White Backlot in north Pickering
The film industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in Ontario and the City of Pickering – ‘Hollywood North-East,’ as it is sometimes called – has worked hard to get a big slice of that lucrative pie.
Home to the biggest backlot in Canada, a 23-acre ‘town’ created in 2021 for the Amazon Prime series ‘Reacher,’ as well as the 180,000 sq. ft. TriBro Studio, Pickering has been one of the more successful cities in the GTA for attracting filmmakers to town, both for the diverse locations and now for the production facilities available.
Catherine Hodge, the Senior Co-ordinator and Development Liaison for the City, said they’re only getting started and wants local businesses to learn how to take advantage of the opportunities the sector can provide.
Invest Durham – Film Durham and Pickering’s Economic Development Department are hosting an event February 23 – ‘Your Business. Their Next Film’ – to give companies a few tips on how to do business with the television and film world.
“We have experienced so much growth in the industry in Pickering over the past five or six years,” Hodge said, noting that even during the pandemic the film business in Ontario was quick to establish protocols to continue making movie magic.
“Production was reduced, absolutely, but Pickering never shut down. The protocols just made it a little more challenging.”
Hodge said the movie sector needs services and supplies during their stay and industry experts such as producers, directors, location managers and union representatives will all be on hand to guide local business people in getting a foothold in the