Film and television productions offer a unique investment opportunity for our community. St. Thomas EDC and the City of St. Thomas work closely with productions to simplify filming while balancing safety and convenience for our businesses and residents. On this page you will find information about the City's Film Policy as well as local impacts on businesses and residents.
Our film policy establishes a framework for continued success through fairness, transparency, and flexibility for productions, businesses, and residents. It supports and streamlines film, television, and media development in St. Thomas.
We work closely with Film Offices in the surrounding region to help support securing secondary locations when needed.
The policy identifies the significance of the industry along with its local benefits, lays the framework for collaboration between and responsibilities of all parties, and recognizes the fluid nature of film production. It guides municipal activities and responses to support productions. Its overall goals and objectives are to:
Establish St. Thomas as a film friendly city;
Create a transparent, efficient, and adaptable municipal administrative process;
Protect the City from any claim or suit arising from film productions;
Uphold the rights, safety, and privacy of residents and businesses; and,
Help recover costs associated with supporting film.
Within the policy, an efficient and fair procedure for working with film is introduced. Beginning in 2024, productions filming on municipal property, including streets, or in municipal facilities require a filming permit. A nominal fee for the permit (which may be waived for very small or non-profit productions), as well as a general security deposit, will be phased-in over the next few years. The policy also contains specifics on traffic stoppages and road closures, deposits, parking, notifications, insurance, location activities, production activities, and much more. Our Filming Steps and Forms page provides an overview of the filming process in St. Thomas.
Impacts of Film and television productions in our community
Why are film and TV productions coming to St. Thomas?
More television and film productions are choosing to shoot in St. Thomas because of our fresh, unique locations and the service we provide. These productions represent another source of financial investment in our community. The City’s goal is to work closely with productions, while balancing safety and convenience for our residents and businesses.
What is the City doing to manage these productions?
The City is work on approving a film policy that seeks to be fair and flexible for productions, businesses, and residents. Productions temporarily filming on public property (e.g. roads, parks, facilities, etc.) in St. Thomas must meet standards (e.g. detailed plans, insurance coverage, safety precautions, notifications, etc.) before they are approved. Information about local filming, including the film policy, can be found above.
What is being done to keep St. Thomas and Film Crews Safe?
Film productions, like all other work places in Ontario, must follow Provincial health and safety regulations. Most productions also have their own strict protocols to help keep workers and the public safe. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario and the film industry have created very detailed guidelines for aspects of filming which productions are expected to follow. Local health standards are also applicable to productions.
How will this impact me or my business?
As a resident or business operator, you may experience temporary disruptions to daily activities from filming in your neighbourhood. These may include street parking, traffic stoppages, road and sidewalk closures, or background daytime noise.
What do I get for these inconveniences?
The City does not compensate individuals or businesses for such disruptions as a result of activities on City property. If you have concerns about a film project, speak to the production company listed on the notification letter that is sent in advance of filming.
Who Do I speak with about lost business?
If you are looking to ask for compensation for costs or losses due to filming activities, speak to the production company listed on the notification letter. The production company may require evidence of legitimate costs or losses (e.g. sales records comparing the affected period to similar periods). Most production companies understand the need for cooperation and are open to accommodating the needs of impacted businesses and residents. Being polite and courteous will go far in discussions with production companies.
Who do I speak with if i have more questions about filming?
Questions about a particular filming project should be directed to the production company listed on the notification letter. Contact us to answer general questions about the film and television production process in St. Thomas.