Toronto to Lose Cinespace's Dockside Film Studio
There's nothing remarkable about the stretch of waterfront across from The Guvernment nightclub at Queen's Quay where honeywagons sit parked before a large film production studio called Cinespace. It's no surprise then that this is where the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation has set its sights to begin development of a key area of our waterfront called East Bayfront.
You'd think no one would object to the revitalization plan to include accessible waterfront and two-acre Sherbourne Park. The mixed use space, relative in size to Battery Park in Manhattan and London's Canary Wharf will also include 7000 units of housing and 1 million square feet of commercial space. Cinespace, a major player in the Toronto film scene, will need to vacate by February 21st in order for the plan to go ahead, and they claim they've just been given notice to leave the premises leased by them from City of Toronto real estate developer TEDCO.
Toronto's film industry is already dealing with city-ordered relocation of studio space, since a relative monopoly on the industry was given to the Toronto Film Studios to build Filmport. This means that space for US productions to shoot, key to the growing film industry in Toronto, is really tight. It could mean the loss of thousands of jobs if US productions find other cities that are more accommodating.
Cinespace is simply asking that it get 18 "official" months to find a new home. In the meantime Filmport and those affected by relocation can build new studios and Toronto can continue to offer the film production services it has come to be known for. Location Manager Craig Williams is one of 4454 film industry professionals who have signed an ongoing online petition agreeing that loss of studio space could have a "devastating impact" on Toronto's film industry. He believes that "while we've all been waiting for the waterfront to evolve into something we can all use and explore, the city has to have a balanced plan to ensure it is not at the expense of key industry."