Building Ottawa's first soundstage campus

In partnership with Toronto’s TriBro Studios, the Ottawa Film Office is working towards building the city’s first soundstage campus and creative hub. This signifiant economic development project would create upwards of 500 new jobs and invest an additional $40 million in the local economy in the first few years alone.

 

The proposed site for the project is on land that is already developed at the National Capital Commission‘s (NCC) Greenbelt Research Farm, located just southwest of West Hunt Club Road and Woodroffe Avenue. As the land is not currently zoned for this type of activity, the NCC hosted a public consultation on September 5 and gathered feedback on its website. The NCC’s Board of Directors is currently reviewing the feedback before deciding if it will proceed with a lease.

Proposal FAQ

Learn more about the proposed soundstage campus and creative hub by reading our frequently asked questions.

Who is involved with the proposed soundstage campus and creative hub?

The soundstage campus and creative hub proposal was presented by the Ottawa Film Office and TriBro Studios to the National Capital Commission as a potential use for already developed land at the Greenbelt Research Farm.

What would the campus include?

The campus would include:

  • Four 20,000-sq. ft. soundstages;
  • 25,000 sq. ft. of carpentry and art department workshops;
  • An integrated backlot using the facades on the building exteriors;
  • 25,000-50,000 sq. ft. of production office space, and;
  • 100,000-200,000 sq. ft. of long-term tenant office space for companies specializing in animation, live action production, post-production, and associated services. The long-term office space building will also act as a creative hub with co-working and meeting space, a café, and other amenities found in similar coworking facilities.

Additionally, a smaller soundstage with green screen would be incorporated in the creative hub to help meet the needs of the local production community.

Where would the campus be located?

The proposed soundstage campus would be located on already developed land at the former Greenbelt Research Farm, 1740 Woodroffe Ave.

Why was that site selected?

After reviewing different pieces of land, this area was identified as the preferred location due to its distance to established animation companies, the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, and Alonquin College. The site is also a quick 20 minute drive from downtown Ottawa. As it’s already developed land, the soundstage campus would not interfere with agriculture or conservation activities in the area.

What is the estimated cost of the soundstage campus?

The estimated cost for the first phase of the soundstage campus is $40 million.

How would the project be funded?

The soundstage campus would be privately funded.

Why was TriBro Studios selected as a partner?

TriBros Studios was identified as a potential partner and property manager by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC). After several meetings and discussions with TriBro Studios, and based on their track record in Toronto, the Ottawa Film Office decided to further pursue the partnership opportunity to build Eastern Ontario’s first dedicated soundstages.

What are the timelines for the soundstage campus?

The NCC Board of Directors is currently reviewing the feedback it received and will decide by mid-November if it will proceed with a lease. Should the outcome be positive, the NCC Board will formally approve the lease at its November meeting, and Treasury Board will approve the plan amendment in January 2019.

If all the approvals are obtained, shovels can be in the ground as early as Q2 2019 with an anticipated opening date in Q2 2020.

How many jobs will building soundstage campus create?

Based on similar projects, we estimate that the soundstage campus will create 500 FTE jobs during construction.

What is the estimated economic impact of the soundstage campus in Ottawa?

During the first years of operation, production levels are estimated to increase by $25 to $40 million dollars in activity and create an additional 500 FTE jobs for the film, television and animation sector.

What if the NCC’s Board of Directors votes to cease negotations?

While it would be difficult to find an alternate site that has all the benefits of the former Greenbelt Research Farm, in the event that the NCC ceases negotiations, the Ottawa Film Office would continue working with TriBro Studios to identify other locations in the city that could meet the needs of the industry.

A soundstage near the airport!? Won’t noise from planes be an issue?

While the soundstage campus would be located near the airport, it would not be close enough to be impacted by airport operations, nor is it directly under any flight paths. Also, like most purpose-built soundstages, it would be completely soundproofed.

How can I show my support for this proposal?

Hopefully you attended the public consultation on Sept. 5th and forwarded your feedback to the NCC before Sept. 19th. If you still want to share your support for the proposed project, let us know what you think on social media by using the hashtag #filmstudio613!