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Toronto’s film industry spending up 5.9% to $1.2B in 2012

Spending on Toronto’s film industry topped the billion-dollar mark for the second straight year and is “poised for future growth,” according to a new report by the city’s general manager of Economic Development and Culture.

The 2012 Year in Review was submitted to the city’s Economic Development Committee and highlighted the industry’s continued success and resiliency.

“This important sector…employs 25,000 full-time workers. It is linked to the education sector through training and incubation at the colleges and universities,” the report said.

Despite significant obstacles like SARS, a global recession and the strength of the Canada dollar, the 2012 results show the industry has bounced back, with spending of $1.2 billion — 5.9 per cent more than in 2011.

That represents “the second consecutive year spending has been over the billion dollar level,” the report states, adding that Toronto has truly earned its reputation as Hollywood North and is, “out-performed only by New York City and Los Angeles.”

However, U.S. production spending fell 15 per cent to $515.5 million in 2012, which was offset by domestic production spending, which rose 17 per cent to $499 million.

Some major Toronto productions last year included; Pacific Rim directed by Guillermo Del Toro; the commencement of the Mortal Instruments trilogy with City of Bones; and re-makes of Carrie and RoboCop.

Michael H. Williams, general manager of Economic Development and Culture, is recommending that city council congratulate the screen-based industries “for the excellence of their work.”

He also recommends council “write the Premier of Ontario and thank her for her government’s ongoing support of this important sector.”