Mississauga movie studio fast-tracked to create thousands of jobs sooner

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Published August 30, 2021 at 10:37 am

Plans to build a movie studio in Mississauga that will create thousands of jobs have been fast-tracked by the Ontario government.

The move, requested by the City of Mississauga earlier this year and announced Friday by Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, means the Mississauga film and TV studio will be up and running nine months to a year sooner than if it were subject to the usual municipal approvals process.

The Mississauga project, in which two 225,000-sq.-ft. buildings will be constructed on land at the southwest corner of Hurontario St. and Derry Rd., is one of four developments in Ontario for which Clark issued Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZO). MZOs allow projects to bypass the usual municipal approvals process, which in most cases doesn’t sit well with municipal politicians who note it reduces citizens’ rights to have a say in what’s built in their community.

However, citing a growing film industry in Mississauga and a location that won’t negatively impact residents, Mississauga officials requested the MZO earlier this year.

Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish said at an April 28 meeting of General Committee that she’s in support of an MZO to get the project done faster.

“I know we’re opposed to MZOs on principle but…it won’t be some big warehouse looking thing right on Hurontario. I think it’s a great idea. We have a film and movie sector growing and this will be the icing on the cake,” she said.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie described the movie studio as “a great project and initiative.”

 

Studio Bottega Inc. representatives told Mississauga councillors at the April meeting that the Derry Rd./Maritz Dr. project will create more than 2,000 construction jobs and some 5,000 operations and other ongoing positions.

Furthermore, they noted, the studio will generate significant government revenues.

David McKay, a planner with Studio Bottega, told councillors at the time that securing an MZO will allow the project to take shape faster.

“This is expediting what will ultimately happen,” McKay said. “It’s employment use on employment lands but we would save nine months of time through the order. It’s not conversion, it’s not in the Greenbelt and it will provide a public good.”

A specific timeline for construction is yet to be announced.

The provincial government says the latest MZOs are cutting red tape in order to push forward much-needed job creation projects as hard-hit local economies recover from the pandemic.

Friday’s announcement also allows for the fast-tracking of a movie studio in Markham, a giant logistics centre in Cambridge and a residential facility for adults with complex special needs in Simcoe County.
-with files from Ashley Newport

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