There’s always an air of excitement in town when the Toronto International Film Festival arrives and it’s not just from the small glimpses of A-list celebrities. This time the exciting news isn’t for Toronto, but for its northern neighbour synonymous with “Canada’s High-Tech Capital,” the City of Markham.
First Studio City’s duo, Frank Sicoli and Dominic Sciullo, announced at TIFF last week, plans to build Markham Movieland – a $100-million movie complex that will span over 400,000 sq. ft. at 4412 14th Avenue on the south side of Highway 407 and just west of Kennedy Road. They’ve partnered with Remington Group, who has a well-established portfolio in Markham, to build this project. In addition, award-winning architectural firm, Quadrangle Architects will responsible for its design. Construction is expected to begin this fall/winter with an aim to complete construction at the end of 2020.
The development will have the largest purpose-built film, television, and digital soundstage in North America at more than 70,000 sq. ft. The sheer, massive size of this facility will enable it to accommodate one blockbuster production or two major feature films or even seven mid-sized feature films simultaneously. Additionally, the facility will also contain 20 smaller soundstages enabling it to cater to projects of various sizes. First Studios will also provide state-of-the-art media technology allowing students from existing media, video production, animation, and gaming programs to gain first-hand experience with film and TV productions.
You might be asking, “How is this relevant to me?” Well if you’re a Markham resident or you own any property in Markham, you’ll come to appreciate the high-paying skilled jobs, increase in property value, and celebration of cultural diversity that projects such as these bring. And even if you don’t live in Markham, these are additional points to consider when looking at places to live. You want to live where there’s constant investment and continuous improvements to your home city. Markham is the epitome of innovation, cultural vibrancy, and talent.
Markham stands as a prime spot for investors because of land that is more readily available than in Toronto and its proximity to Pearson International Airport. Markham Mayor, Frank Scarpitti, also touts that producers are drawn by tax credits, the low Canadian loonie, Markham’s diversity of talent and culture, as well as “the lowest industrial and commercial taxes in the GTA.” He expects 80 percent of the studio will be booked by opening day. With the success of numerous high-budget blockbusters like Marvel Avengers superhero series, the demand for production space has outstripped supply. Markham Movieland is sure to attract the interest of filmmakers from Hollywood North, China and Bollywood.
It’s truly an exciting time to be a Markham citizen and as the city expands with investments and projects so too will opportunities in your life. Maybe the next time you’re in Markham, you’ll see your favourite celebrity walking down the street!