Cinespace sets sail on Marine Terminal studio

The studio has signed a multi-year deal with PortsToronto to relocate its Eastern Avenue studio capacity to a new hub in the Port Lands.

Cinespace Film Studios has inked a multi-year deal with PortsToronto to develop a new film and TV production facility in Toronto’s Port Lands.

The studio has signed a 15-year deal to develop Marine Terminal 51 and part of Toronto’s Cruise Ship terminal into a new production facility. Cinespace will relocate its 120,000-square foot Eastern Avenue site, which ceased operations in February, to the 165,000-square foot Marine Terminal site.

Construction on the new space is currently underway and is expected to be operational before year’s end. Cinespace announced in April 2016 that it had sold its Eastern Avenue site to General Motors, with a goal to re-capitalize and move forward on expansion plans.

Those plans include the recent expansion of its Etobicoke facilities. In September, Cinespace added two 20,000-square-foot studios, naming the new facilities Titan Studios.

While the Marine Terminal announcement is a big step in the right direction for Cinespace, VP Jim Mirkopoulous told Playback Daily the company’s focus is also on relocating its Booth Avenue campus.

In 2016, the Booth Avenue facility was sold to developer First Gulf, which leased the land back to the studio operator on a five-year deal. Cinespace is currently in year three of the deal, with the lease due to expire in 2021.

“It’s nice that we’re replacing and enhancing the studio capacity that we’ve lost at Eastern Avenue, but we have to keep pushing forward to make sure the Booth Avenue capacity is replaced and enhanced, so that Toronto can have a net gain of studio space,” said Mirkopoulos.

Cinespace is now in its 30th year of operation in Toronto and has been home to such productions as the Oscar-nominated Shape of Water and Emmy-winning The Handmaid’s Tale. Productions currently using Cinespace’s Toronto facilities include the Canada/Germany Netflix copro Polar, season two of MGM Television’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and NBC Universal series Umbrella Academy, among others.

With files from Jordan Pinto

Pictured: a designer’s rendering of the new space