Ontario's Film and Television Production Hits Record Levels

(Image credit: Pixabay)

TORONTO—Ontario Creates, an agency of the Government of Ontario that works to expand Ontario's creative industries, is reporting record breaking film and TV production in 2021, despite ongoing problems with the pandemic. 

During 2021 the area had 394 productions bringing in $C2.88 billion ($2.31 in U.S. dollars) in production spending for the economy. In addition to dollar value, these figures represent over 48,000 full-time equivalent direct and spin-off jobs, which is an increase of 38 per cent or 18,468 jobs from 2020, the agency reported. 

The report found that there were 115 domestic and 77 foreign TV series produced in the region. In addition there were 108 domestic and 22 foreign TV movies, mini-series, specials and pilots produced. TV production accounted for the bulk of production money spent in Ontario, with a total of $C2.6 billion ($2.08 billion U.S.) 

"The government's commitment to growing Ontario's film and television industry means big business for Ontario," said Lisa MacLeod, minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries. "Ontario offers a safe, business-friendly environment where productions can thrive, good jobs can grow, and great content gets made – there is no better place to create content than right here in Ontario."

Other highlights of the 2021 report include: 

  • Ontario's film and TV industry contributed a record-breaking $C2.88 billion to Ontario's economy in 2021, creating 48,135 high-value full-time equivalent direct and spin-off jobs for Ontarians.
  • A portion of the 2021 increase can be attributed to COVID-19 recovery following the brief industry shut down in 2020. The rest of the increase represents new growth in production and is a testament to Ontario's robust health and safety protocols, impressive suite of financial incentives, ongoing studio space expansion, diverse talent pool, and an unmatched range of film-friendly locations.
  • Domestic film and television production held strong in 2021, contributing $C965 million after a lull in 2020.
  • Domestic television series production was particularly robust in 2021, with 115 productions contributing over $C707 million in expenditures.
  • Foreign production remained strong in 2021, led by a strong television industry. Total expenditures in 2021 reached over $C1.9 billion.
  • Live action production increased in 2021 accounting for 361 of the total 394 productions.

The full report is available here

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.