Film permits

Projects such as Sony Picture's Total Recall have contributed to domestic and international screen-based productions exceeding the $1-billion mark in Toronto for six consecutive years.

One-stop concierge service is available for all film productions shot in Toronto. The Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Office co-ordinates all location filming within the city and provides industry development support to the local screen-based community.

ExpandApplication process

Once your film permit application is received, a Film Officer will help guide you through the application process.

Application process – a step-by-step guide to filming in Toronto

 Step 1: Apply for a permit

  • Complete a PDF version of the Location Filming Permit Application form. Save on your computer and e-mail to filmtoronto@toronto.ca.

  • List your schools as the Film Company on the application if you are a film student.

  • Refer to the sample application form for detailed instructions. 

    Note:

  • Film permits cover parking for production vehicles only, not crew vehicles.

Step 2: Provide an insurance certificate

  • Have your production company or insurance broker email a PDF file of your insurance certificate to filmtoronto@toronto.ca.

  • Permits will not be issued until the insurance certificate has been received.

  • Students producing films as part of their school curriculum are covered under the school's insurance policy. Check with your school's risk management or the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Office.

Step 3: Provide production information

Step 4: Provide a letter of notification

  • Prepare and submit your Letter of Notification to the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Office for review and approval before being circulated to residents/businesses where filming is proposed to take place.

  • View a sample letter for details to include in your letter of notification. 

  • Submit your letters of notification to filmtoronto@toronto.ca.

Step 5: Permits & red cards issued

  • A film officer will review your application and advise you of any conflicts, concerns or if further notification is required i.e. Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) or neighbourhood associations.

  • Permits are generally ready the day prior to filming. Most permits can be emailed (unless red cards are needed) or picked up in person.

  • All permits must be signed by an employee of the film company and a Film Office staff member to be valid.

    Permit and red cards notes:

  • The location filming permit will be accompanied by a specific predetermined number of red location filming vehicle cards.

  • Red cards should be clearly displayed in the window of each production vehicle for the duration of the shoot, along with the parking page(s) of the permit.

  • To obtain the red cards the location manager may be requested to submit a list of their production vehicle requirements to the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Office.

ExpandLetters of notification

Notify before you film! Residents & businesses must receive written, advance notice from the production company about the location filming activity that will take place in their neighbourhood.

Distribute notification letters to residents and businesses in the area in which filming activity will take place a minimum of 48 hours in advance of your arrival (including prep days and coning) to allow area residents and businesses the opportunity to respond.

Provide letters to both sides of the street within a 1 block radius of the film location, or as otherwise instructed by Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Office staff.

Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Office staff must review and approve the letters before they are delivered to ensure that variances to the guidelines are clearly stated. E-mail letters to filmtoronto@toronto.ca (always indicate project title in subject line) with sufficient time to avoid delays.

Review a sample letter of notification

The letter should:

  • Identify the film company, type and title of production on film company letterhead

  • Provide the name and phone number of the location manager and assistant location manager

  • Provide the duration of filming (i.e. 1 day, 2 consecutive days, recurring location for [ x ] # of days over [ x ] # of months) and times (i.e. 7:00 am to 11:00 pm)

  • State the proposed parking locations of the production unit, including street name, side of street, parameters etc.

  • Include the date(s) and times that coning and/or production vehicles will arrive at the location, as well as wrap date and time

  • Propose alternate parking arrangements for any parking permit holders who may be displaced by the production. It is up to the film company to find suitable alternative parking for residents.

  • Detail any street dressing, gunfire or special effects

  • Identify that the film company is requesting an exemption to a particular guideline in the letter, if applicable. For example, if a residential city block has been used twice in one calendar year, the letter should state that the film company is requesting an exemption to guideline number six, "Limitations", and that the film company will canvass the neighbourhood for signed permission to obtain a variance. Review a sample letter for late night filming.

  • Include a copy of the Code of Conduct for Cast and Crew (either on the back of the letter or as a separate page).

  • Include the general contact information for the Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Office: filmtoronto@toronto.ca; 416-338-FILM (3456). DO NOT include contact information for individual staff of the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Office.

  • Include the following statement: To obtain further information regarding the guidelines for filming refer to the Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Office website www.toronto.ca/tfto

ExpandProduction information

Fill out the online Production Information Form. We are no longer accepting Production Information Sheets in PDF format.

Production Information Forms are required prior to receiving a film permit. The information reported helps the City gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of the film industry in Toronto.

Form Instructions:

Commercials

  • Project titles must be unique to distinguish one production from another
  • Enter the project title followed by the production start date in the following format: Title yy/mm/dd – e.g. Tim Hortons 160219 would film on February 19, 2016
  • If there are several filming days, use the first shoot date in the project title – e.g. if filming March 10 & 11, the project title will be Tim Hortons 160310

Background

  • The Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Office accumulates confidential data on production activity to promote continued support for the industry at all levels of government. This is an accepted practice by both Canadian and U.S. production companies and film commissions worldwide.

  • Information on monies that a production intends to spend in Toronto is collected, not above-the-line expenditures.

  • Production managers and/or production accountants working on features and made-for-television movies provide this figure on a total money spent in Toronto basis - including post-production.

  • TV series report either a total per cycle expenditure or an average episodic expenditure - including post-production.

ExpandInsurance documentation

Submit insurance documentation to the Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Office, as the City of Toronto requires evidence of insurance in the form of a certificate of insurance before a permit can be issued.

The following insurance industry standard requirements must appear on the certificate:

  1. General Comprehensive Public Liability in the amount of two million dollars ($2,000,000). An insurance policy that covers the insured against liability from a third party claim for bodily injury and or property damage which arises from the insured's business, property or operations.

  2. The City of Toronto, 100 Queen St. W., Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2, must be named as an additional insured. Your comprehensive general liability policy must add the City of Toronto as an additional insured to protect the City where your actions or operations injure a third party for which a claim may be filed against you and/or the City.

  3. A Cross Liability / Severability of Interest Clause which is defined as follows: A provision in some insurance policies and applications for insurance that each insured or applicant will be treated as if separately covered under the policy. If a claim is made by one insured against another insured, this provision provides coverage for the insured against whom the claim is made in the same manner as if separate policies had been issued. However, it does not operate to increase the insurance company's overall limit of liability. Your comprehensive general liability policy must allow the City of Toronto to file a claim against you if your actions or operations injure the City of Toronto.

Permit applicants should consult with their insurance advisors if further clarification and explanation is needed.