Bell Media takes majority stake in Pinewood Toronto

Nanci MacLean, VP and head of Bell Media Studios will oversee operations at Pinewood Toronto.
Pinewood Studios Toronto

Bell Media has entered an agreement to take a majority stake in Pinewood Toronto Studios, in partnership with Paul Bronfman’s Comweb Studio Holdings, as well as Castlepoint and the City of Toronto.

The major shakeup in Canada’s studio scene was revealed Thursday morning, with terms of the deal undisclosed.

In entering the studio business, Bell Media stakes a larger claim for its Bell Media Studios brand, which the company has been developing over the last year and was a partner in the recent unscripted series The Launch with Insight Productions and Big Machine Label Group. The Bell Media Studios banner was officially unveiled at the media co’s 2017 Upfront last June with a view to creating a brand identity for its independent and in-house production arms.

In a press release on the acquisition, Bell Media president Randy Lennox alluded to the opportunity to expand that line of business for the company.

“We’re excited about the synergies that Pinewood Toronto can offer and the role it will play in generating new revenue streams in an open-shop basis,” said Bell Media president Randy Lennox in a statement.

Nanci MacLean, VP and head of Bell Media Studios will oversee operations at Pinewood Toronto. In a statement, MacLean said Bell Media will add an additional 170,000 square feet of sound stages and support space to the facility – welcome news to a city in need of more studio space to keep up with production demand.

The 33.5-acre facility in Toronto’s Port Lands currently includes 11 purpose-built stages, including a 46,000-square-foot sound stage, as well as offices and teaching facilities. Recent Bell Media original productions that have filmed there include Orphan Black, The Listener and Killjoys. It was also home to CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery, which airs on Bell Media’s Space, and films such as Suicide Squad.