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Canada – Ontario

Ontario Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Ontario? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Ontario? See below for an introduction to Ontario locations, permits, when to shoot, crew, equipment, studios, tax incentives, and film friendly hotels.

Ontario Film Locations

Ontario is Canada’s most populous province. Outside of the major urban areas of Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario is mostly farmland. There are roughly 60,000 farms in Ontario with the main agricultural film locations of interest being wheat, corn, barley, oats, rye, canola and sunflower fields. The far north and west of Ontario is a largely uninhabited wilderness of lakes, swamps and forests. Ontario has five national parks, 330 provincial parks. Some parks of note include Algonquin Provincial Park, Killarney Provincial Park, Polar Bear Provincial Park, and Bon Echo Provincial Park.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city. The city often doubles for Chicago and New York City. For big shoots, Dundas Square is an easier and cost efficient alternative to New York’s Times Square. Locations of interest to filmmakers and photographers include Toronto’s modern city skyline, downtown office towers, unique architecture such as the Ontario College of Art & Design and Royal Ontario Museum, CN Tower, typical American suburbs, vibrant Chinatown, trendy neighborhoods, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, major sporting venues, gardens and city parks, Toronto Islands, Lake Ontario, and frozen city lakes. Parts of the cavernous Toronto sewer system is available for filming. Lower Bay is an abandoned subway station often used by film and photography projects.

Toronto has a depth of locations within a few hours drive of the city. Quaint towns, such as Port Hope have featured in films such as It. Frozen lakes are ideal pond hockey locations. The world famous Niagara Falls are just over an hour away. Hamilton is an industrial city just under an hour away.

Ottawa is Canada’s capital. The city is best known for its gothic-style Parliament Buildings, wealth of museums and galleries, beautiful river parks, and leafy neighborhoods with Victorian homes.

Kingston Penitentiary is a 19th century prison open to film projects.

Ontario has hosted a long list of productions including The Shape of Water, The Handmaid’s Tale, It, Spotlight, American Psycho, Good Will Hunting, Chicago, Mean Girls, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Dawn of the Dead, Cruel Intentions, A History of Violence, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Final Destination, to name a few.

Ontario Film Location Permits

Ontario film location permits depend on the specific location as well as the scope and size of your shoot. Film permits are required for shooting on public locations in Toronto. Proof of insurance is also required. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Ontario has a typical four-season climate. Spring (April to May) brings flowers and warm weather. Summers (June to September) can get very hot and humid. Fall (October to November) brings colorful leaves and the migration of the monarch butterfly. Winters (December to March) are very cold and snowy, particularly the farther north you go.

Ontario is home to a long list of festivals and events ranging from Winterlude (January / February) to the Caribana Festival (July / August).

Ontario Tax Incentives For Filming

Tax Incentives. The Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC) is a refundable tax credit of 25% on qualified Ontario production expenditures for eligible film and television productions. The Ontario Computer Animation & Special Effects (OCASE) Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit of 20% of qualifying Ontario labor expenditures for digital animation and digital visual effects created in Ontario for film and television productions. See here for more information.

Ontario Film Crew & Equipment

Toronto is Eastern Canada’s main production service center. It is the gateway to filming in Ontario, Manitoba, the Maritimes, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Toronto has world renowned, experienced creative and technical crews that specialize in servicing a broad spectrum of productions from Hollywood feature films to commercial stills. Toronto offers both Panavision and Arri equipment as well as several boutique equipment companies. The majority of specialized equipment is available in Toronto including Russian Arms, camera cars, cranes and helicopter mounts.

Contact us if you are looking for a Toronto or Ottawa based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew in Ontario.

Ontario Studios

Studios. Ontario has several state of the art studio facilities. Pinewood Toronto Studios has 10 fully-equipped sound stages and 9 acres of backlot.

Ontario Film-Friendly Accommodation

Accommodation. See below for recommended film friendly hotels in Toronto, Ottawa and other areas of Ontario.

Pantages Hotel Toronto

Final Notes

Down Time. Toronto is a vibrant, modern city with many great restaurants and entertainment venues.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Ontario, please see below:

Hire Ontario Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Ontario, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Ontario, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.