Ryan Reynolds investing in production studio in GTA

By Lucas Casaletto

Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds is prepared to invest in Ontario’s film and television industry.

In Monday’s legislature, Neil Lumsden, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, mentioned that a “massive production studio is being built” with Reynolds behind the sizeable $1.5 billion investment in Markham, Ont.

“It’s being done by a gentleman who grew up in Canada and is a film industry star: Ryan Reynolds, [and] his company is building this. There are more than just a few people who have confidence in Ontario and what we’re doing,” Lumsden said.

Reynolds told Variety, who first reported on the story, that the opportunity to invest was “both mind-boggling and humbling.”

“Maximum Effort has grown in ways and directions that we’ve never imagined,” Reynolds said in a statement to Variety.

“To be launching a fund and building a 1.2 million-square-foot studio facility in Ontario is both mind-boggling and humbling. Regardless, I’m excited to expand our storytelling capabilities in new directions and to bring more production work to Ontario.”

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Construction is expected to begin shortly, but it’s unclear when the production facility will be completed and operational. CityNews has reached out to Reynolds’ representatives and Maximum Effort, a film production company and digital marketing agency founded by Reynolds, for comment.

This isn’t the first reported investment Reynolds has been connected to recently. In February, Reynolds reportedly partnered with a real estate development group from the Toronto area in a bid to buy the Ottawa Senators.

Reynolds teamed up with The Remington Group, based in Vaughan, to form a group poised to bid on the Senators and build a new downtown arena. Reynolds — who co-owns Welsh soccer club Wrexham, which plays in England’s fifth tier — publicly expressed interest in buying the Senators in the fall, though he acknowledged that he would need partners to do so. He has since been seen at a Senators game, where the crowd greeted him warmly.

The Canadian actor has maintained a partnership with Toronto’s SickKids, for which he dons an “ugly/not ugly holiday sweater” around Christmas to match donations to the children’s hospital.

With files from Sportsnet Staff

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