FILM STUDIOS MAY BE LOOKING FOR 10 TO 15-ACRE PLOTS IN THE PORT LANDS – AN AREA IN FLUX

PORTLANDS9       <QUOTE – Dennis Hanagan in The Bulletin newspaper, July/2016>  Where do you find 10 to 15 acres of vacant land near downtown TORONTO? For filmmakers, The Port Lands might be the answer. SARAH KER-HORNELL of the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Board says studios need large packages of land that can be gated and fenced in for security reasons – with warehouse-type buildings inside.

PORTLANDS6She told Dennis Hanagan of The Bulletin newspaper and TORONTO city planners “right now we have clients at the gate, clamouring to come in. We need the space as quickly as possible. Clients are already sold on the jurisdiction, already sold on the excellence we deliver.”

PORTLANDS8<Looking towards THE PORT LANDS from downtown east side, by Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine>

PORTLANDS2The Port Lands are an industrial and recreational neighbourhood within easy reach of downtown TORONTO.  Mike Kraljevic, Toronto Port Lands Co. President believes “the film industry is changing at lightning speed” and the very large buildings – the size which Pinewood Studios on Commissioners Street originally announced it required – “aren’t needed any more.”  Smaller studio spaces are closing in The Port Lands. “People are selling, and those parcels of land are being used for something else. We’re going to make room for the (film) industry to allow it to grow (here).”

PORTLANDS4<Movie trailers on Wellington Street West, Sunday afternoon>

GO FOR LUNCH AT A RIVER-SIDE PUB AND DISCOVER A HISTORIC TORONTO WATERWAY

KEATINGCHANNEL2The PORT LANDS are unloved territory for most Torontonians. But once the Luminato Festival/2016 ensconsed itself inside the Hearn Generating Plant the curious amongst us drove, walked and biked the roadways, wooded trails and backwaters of this (ripe for development) industrial patch bordering TORONTO Harbour.

KEATINGCHANNEL5Named after engineer EDWARD HENRY KEATING (1844-1912), the waterway is a 1,000-metre-long connecfion between Ashbridges Bay, the Don River, the inner harbour and Lake Ontario.

KEATINGCHANNEL3I found the Keating Channel and its pub a picturesque stopping place. The beer was great, the food OK and the shaded water-side patio uncrowded.

KEATINGCHANNEL4<The Keating Channel looking east, Toronto Public Libraries, 1914>

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Early on, the banks of the Channel were lined with industry, including the Toronto Shipyard Company, which built World War I vessels and freighters.

KEATINGCHANNEL1The elevated Gardiner Expressway, the Cherry Street drawbridge and the condo towers of the Distillery District add some urban ambience.