Ottawa Construction News staff writer
Construction to build Ottawa’s first film and television soundstage campus could soon be underway (at least after the COVID-19 pandemic resolves), after the city’s planning committee gave the proposal two thumbs up in early March. The finance and economic development committee has approved financing a $40-million loan to the Ottawa Film Office.
In partnership with Toronto-based TriBro Studios, the film office would build and operate the campus at the National Capital Commission’s Greenbelt Research Farm located at 1740 Woodroffe Ave. The plan includes four soundstages and office space for production, animation and training.
The Ottawa Film Office and TriBro Studios will bring the project to life on an already developed, 8.4-hectare parcel of land near the intersection of West Hunt Club Road and Woodroffe Avenue in Nepean.
If the project gets necessary approvals, including a green light from Ottawa city council, the plan is to get shovels in the ground this summer, Ottawa Film Commissioner Bruce Harvey told the planning committee, days before COVID-19 up-ended routine business and planning.
Coun. Jan Harder, who chairs the committee, called the project “overwhelmingly exciting.”
It is expected to create 500 construction jobs and 500 full-time jobs in Ottawa’ film, TV and animation sector, as well as generate between $25 and $40 million in economic activity annually once it opens for business, city staff told the committee.
The committee also approved a new film by-law that would create a no-fee film permit and provide film and television production companies a streamlined application process to work on city property and access municipal services.
The new by-law would “support the growth of the local television and film industry and help the Ottawa Film Office promote Ottawa as an attractive destination for media production.”
Ottawa’s Film Office focuses on the continued development, retention, competitiveness, and enhancement of the city’s film and television industry. In addition, it facilitates and issues various filming permits, promotes the region as a preferred industry destination and supports the development and growth of the local industry.