Film in Toronto

Plan Your Shoot in Toronto

There are a series of guidelines for filming in the city of Toronto, including the hours and days filming can take place, appropriate parking considerations, notification of impacted businesses and residents, and more.

ExpandClean-up and garbage collection

Production crews must clean the location at the end of each filming day and ensure that the area is returned to its original condition.

If exceptions are required, the production company must get approval from the TFTO or make arrangements with an operating Division of the City. This must be noted on the permit and the production company will be billed accordingly. Materials and debris are not to be washed into catch basins.

On garbage, recycle and wet waste pick-up days, please be courteous in neighbourhoods where you are filming. If filming or parking of your production vehicles blocks the view of waste receptacles and it is garbage, recycle or wet waste pick-up day in the area, please assist with the collection.

Arrangements can be made with the property owner of the waste bins to:

  • relocate bins temporarily to one side of the street so that City collection vehicles only need to pass once;
  • place waste bins onto the street in front of production vehicles where they will be in clear view of City collection vehicles; or
  • stagger production vehicles to allow public access in different directions.


This will avoid any problems for residents and ensure their waste is picked up on its regular collection day.

ExpandCode of Conduct for Cast and Crew

Film and television productions are all guests in residential and commercial areas and shall treat all locations, as well as the members of the public, with courtesy. It is the responsibility of each producer/production company to ensure that cast and crew comply with this Code of Conduct. Every filming notification letter which is distributed in the neighbourhood or business district must include this one-page Code of Conduct (PDF) photocopied on the back.

Notification

  1. When filming in a neighbourhood or business district (BIA), proper notification is to be provided to each merchant or resident directly affected by filming activity (this includes parking and base camp areas). 


The filming notice shall include:

    • name of production company, title of production
    • production type (e. g. feature film, mini-series, TV series, television special, etc.)
    • type, duration and description of activity (i.e. times, dates and number of days, including prep and strike)
    • company contact including Location Manager and Location Assistant

Production Vehicle Restrictions

  1. Production vehicles arriving on location in or near a residential neighbourhood shall not enter the area before the time stipulated on the permit. Production vehicles shall park one by one, turning off engines as soon as possible. Cast and crew vehicles are not covered by the location filming permit and shall observe designated parking areas noted by location managers. This shall appear on the call sheet map. Filming in zoned residential areas only takes place between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. unless residents are surveyed and a majority has given their approval (written approval where possible, name and address noted if home owner / tenant / business owner has no objection but does not wish to sign).
  2. Moving or towing of any vehicle is prohibited without the express permission of the owner of the vehicle.
  3. Production vehicles shall not block, or park in, driveways without the express permission of the driveway owner.

Pedestrian Traffic

  1. Pedestrian traffic shall not be obstructed at any time. All cables and similar items must be channelled.

Trespassing

6.  Cast and crew shall not trespass on residents' or merchants' property. They must remain within the boundaries of the property that has been permitted for filming.

Eating/Drinking/Smoking on location

  1. No alcoholic beverages are permitted at any time on any set or location.
  2. Cast and crew meals shall be confined to the area designated in the location agreement or permit. Individuals shall eat within their designated meal area, during scheduled crew meals. All trash must be disposed of properly upon completion of the meal. All napkins, plates, and coffee cups used in the course of the work day shall be disposed of in the proper receptacles. All catering, crafts service, construction, strike and personal trash must be removed from the location, ensuring that all locations are returned to their original condition.
  3. Cast and crew shall observe designated smoking areas and always extinguish cigarettes in appropriate containers.

Trees/ Street signs

  1. Removing, trimming and/or cutting of vegetation or trees is prohibited unless approved by the relevant municipal authority (existing city municipal code) or property owner.
  2. Film crew shall not remove city street signs. This must be done by City Transportation Services staff. Contact Toronto's 311 system to arrange for this service.

Noise

  1. Every member of the cast and crew shall keep noise levels as low as possible at all times. Cast and crew will refrain from the use of lewd or improper language.

Etiquette

  1. Film company employees shall wear appropriate clothing while on location (i.e., t-shirts with offensive slogans or logos are not acceptable).
  2. Crew members shall not display signs, posters, or pictures on vehicles that members of the public may find offensive or objectionable (i.e. material containing vulgar language or sexual content).
  3. Every member of the crew shall wear a production pass (badge) when required by the location.
  4. The cast and crew shall not bring guests or pets to the location, unless expressly authorized in advance by the company.
  5. It is up to the film company to make alternate parking arrangements for residents in possession of a valid street parking permit for that area whose vehicles are displaced by the filming activity. Relocating vehicles by towing to accommodate filming or parking will not be permitted.

Compliance

  1. The company will comply at all times with the provisions of the filming permit which include adherence to the City of Toronto Municipal code 459 regarding location filming and the guidelines for filming in the City of Toronto. A copy of the filming permit shall be on location at all times with the location department.

Non-Compliance

  1. The production company appreciates your cooperation and assistance in upholding the code of conduct. Failure to comply with this code of conduct can result in disciplinary action by the production company or your union, guild or association.
  2. If a production company is not adhering to this code of conduct, please email the Toronto Film & Television Office at filmtoronto@toronto.ca or call us at 416-338-FILM (3456) Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

ExpandFire hydrant grounding

To submit applications for fire hydrant grounding related to filming, visit the Toronto Water Service Counter at:

North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge Street, 2nd floor
Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

ExpandGuidelines for filming in the City of Toronto

1. Applicability

The following guidelines apply to all location filming which takes place in the City of Toronto, except for current affairs and newscasts.

2. Permit Issuance

Permits for location filming will be co-ordinated through and issued by the Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Office (TFTO).

3. TFTO Application timelines

We require a minimum of two full business days to issue a permit, not including the day of submission. Permits are normally issued the day before your filming date and/or coning date.

For filming in City Parks we require a minimum of three full business days to issue a permit, not including the day of submission.

All applications must be received within City business hours, 8:30am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday, to be considered as being sent and received on the same day.  This means that if you submit after 4:30 PM on any given day, we will treat it as being received the following business day. 

Timeline Examples

Desired filming/parking/coning date

Application must be received by the preceding*

Monday

Wednesday     (between 8:30am - 4:30 pm)

Tuesday

Thursday        (between 8:30am - 4:30 pm)

Wednesday

Friday            (between 8:30am - 4:30 pm)

Thursday

Monday          (between 8:30am - 4:30 pm)

Friday

Tuesday         (between 8:30am - 4:30 pm)

Saturday, Sunday, Stat Holidays

Wednesday     (between 8:30am - 4:30 pm)

 *Add one day to "application must be received by" for all parks applications.

**Applications must be received during City business hours of 8:30am - 4:30 pm; any applications received after 4:30 PM are counted as being received the following day.

 Notes on Timelines

  • Changes to permits require 48 hours' notice to residents, businesses and this office. If you are filming Wednesday, and decide to add a new street for parking on Tuesday afternoon, that is too short notice and your change cannot be accepted.
  • If you request a change with less than 48 hours' notice to this office, but explain that you have notified residents/businesses, the change cannot be accepted. We need time to do the work.
  • Give yourself enough time to make changes, if necessary.  Plan ahead; add rain dates to your application, not after your permit has been issued. Have backup shoot dates in mind in case your application is deemed too short notice.
  • Changes include adding streets, adding meters, changing blocks, extending filming/parking times, adding filming dates, adding wrap out dates and parking, adding spfx or any other signification filming component.

4. Notification

  • Community: The film company must provide written notice of filming a minimum of 48 hours in advance to affected residents/occupants and businesses, or as instructed by the TFTO. The notification must include the duration and location of filming and information about planned special effects, road and lane closures, sidewalk usage without obstructing pedestrians and the time that cones will be placed on the street to restrict parking. Filming in residential areas for a period of 7 consecutive days or longer will not be approved unless a majority of affected residents (as determined by the TFTO) have given their written approval (name and address of business owner, homeowner/ resident, if they have an objection or no objection). Filming involving the use of catastrophic special effects will not be approved unless a majority of affected residents (as determined by the TFTO) have given their written approval.
  • Councillors: Councillors will be notified by the TFTO of filming in their respective wards once the permit application is received. This notification will include the title of the production, production company contact info, name of the location manager and their contact number, location of filming and parking of production vehicles.
  • BIAs: Film companies are to notify in writing, 48 hours in advance of filming, an affected Business Improvement Area (BIA), advising them of the duration and location of filming, and any information about special effects, road and lane closures, sidewalk usage, and the time cones will be placed in the street allowance (or as directed by the TFTO). Notification will include the name of the production manager, title of the production, and a contact telephone number.

5. Restrictions & Limitations

Restrictions on hours/days for filming: Permits authorizing filming in areas zoned residential between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. will not be approved unless all affected residents have been notified in advance. Depending on the potential impact on the area, a majority of affected properties (as determined by the TFTO) will have to give their written approval (name and address of business owner, homeowner/ resident, if they have an objection or no objection) for filming to occur in these circumstances.

6. Limitations

Location filming in areas zoned residential will be limited to 2 occasions per year for each residential block unless a majority of affected properties (as determined by the TFTO) consent to additional filming. Written approval must be provided for additional occurrences and all notification procedures are to be followed to the satisfaction of the TFTO. The amount of filming in other areas may also be limited as determined by the TFTO in consultation with Ward Councillor(s).

7. Consideration to Residents/Occupants/Businesses

These persons should be limited from any negative environmental conditions resulting from filming including spill-over lighting, exhaust fumes or noise that affect their ability to remain at their property or conduct their business unless they have been contacted and do not express any objection. Specifically:

  • Lighting: Lighting for filming should be oriented away from neighbouring residences unless residents have been contacted and do not express any objection and should not interfere with the safe movement of traffic. Night filming involving intensive lighting between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. requires written approval by a majority of affected residents.
  • Noise: The production company must comply with legislation governing noise. If the affected residents/occupants/businesses have been advised in advance of the nature of the noise and do not object, the likelihood of a complaint will be reduced.
  • Generators: All generators used on streets in residential areas or in City parks will be "blimped" generators unless otherwise approved.

8. Disruption to Residents/Occupants/Businesses

It is the production company's responsibility to ensure that there is a minimum of disruption to residents, occupants, businesses and City employees where filming occurs. This includes ensuring residents, owners and customers’ access to their respective premises and ensuring pedestrian and vehicular access to adjoining properties. The production company is under no obligation to provide compensation for disruption unless it voluntarily agrees to do so with residents/occupants/businesses or otherwise has legal obligation to do so. Disruption of parking as a result of a film permit is not compensable unless otherwise agreed with the applicable persons. Every effort should be made to ensure that people displaying legitimate credentials such as disabled parking permits are accommodated in recognition of their personal safety.

9. Identification of Production Vehicles

All vehicles carrying equipment involved in the production will be issued a red card which must be displayed on their dashboards in addition to the parking information page(s) of the permit. It is the responsibility of the production company to determine in advance the number of production vehicles requiring such a permit.

10. Traffic

  • No interference with pedestrian or vehicular traffic is to occur without being noted on the permit. Every opportunity is to be taken to ensure that access, either vehicular or pedestrian, is not restricted to persons with disabilities.
  • Production vehicles must comply with appropriate traffic regulations unless stated otherwise on the permit.
  • All moving vehicles must comply with regulations governing traffic in City parks/properties unless otherwise noted on the permit.
  • Except where a road is closed for filming, where a moving vehicle is involved, the applicant shall adhere to the posted speed limits and to lawful conditions unless directed otherwise by a Paid Duty Police Officer.

11. Parking and/or Standing

  • Production vehicles must not block fire hydrants or be parked in fire routes or within 9 metres of an intersecting street or impede any emergency response vehicles and must also adhere to any other requirements specified on the permit. A full list of the specific parking prohibitions is available.
  • In City parks, production vehicles and equipment must not block driveways or other access/egress ramps. Production vehicles must leave at least two feet clearance on either side of a driveway, ramp, or other accesses/egresses/ingresses. In all other circumstances, vehicles cannot block driveways or other access ramps without the approval of the owner.
  • No production equipment/vehicles are to be within 30 metres of a subway entrance, a bus or streetcar stop, a pedestrian cross-over or a signalized intersection unless otherwise noted on the permit.
  • It is up to the film company to make alternate parking arrangements for residents in possession of a valid street parking permit in areas where vehicles are displaced by filming. Relocating vehicles by towing to accommodate filming or parking is not permitted.
  • Production vehicles must not block parking lot access/egress ramps and accessible parking for persons with disabilities.

12. Traffic Stoppages

Intermittent traffic stoppages to a maximum of 3 minutes, unless stated otherwise, shall be under the supervision of a Paid Duty Police Officer. It is the production company's responsibility to arrange for the Transportation Division to cover, alter, remove and/or reinstall traffic or street signs as may be necessary.

13. Filming Activities and Relationship to Police/Fire/Ambulance

  1. Appropriate Paid Duty Police Officers are required for the detonation of pyrotechnic special effects. A blast analysis may be required and additional time is needed to arrange for this activity. Qualified Emergency Medical Services personnel (paramedics) must be on site during the filming of dangerous situations such as special effects, stunts, and /or detonation of pyrotechnics, as determined by the TFTO.
  2. The Toronto Fire Department must be advised in advance in writing when the use of flammable liquids/materials is being planned.
  3. Paid Duty Police Officer are required as determined by the TFTO for such things as permit compliance, use of prop guns, intermittent traffic stoppages and traffic control and/or when required to direct pedestrian or vehicular traffic including those instances involving city parks/properties. A copy of the permit is to be supplied to the Paid Duty Officer on duty. All costs associated with these requirements are the expense of the applicant.

Responsibilities

14. Clean-up

Production crews must clean the location at the end of the day with a minimum amount of noise and disruption and ensure that the area is returned to its original condition, unless otherwise approved by the TFTO or other arrangements are made with an operating Division of the City and noted on the permit, in which case the production company will be billed accordingly. Materials and debris are not to be washed into catch basins.

15. Conduct

It is the responsibility of the production company to ensure that their staff operate in a safe and professional manner in the course of their duties and adhere to the City of Toronto Code of Conduct for Cast and Crew.

Insurance & Expenses

16. Insurance

All companies filming in the City of Toronto must present to the TFTO, prior to permit issuance, a certificate of comprehensive general liability insurance in the amount of $2 Million per occurrence or such higher limits as the City of Toronto reasonably requires depending on the nature of filming. All such policies shall add the City of Toronto as an additional insured and contain a cross liability clause, a severability of interests clause and shall not call into contribution any other insurance available to the City of Toronto. In addition, such policies, may not be cancelled or amended without the prior written consent of the City of Toronto via the TFTO.

17. Expenses

The production company is responsible for all out-of-pocket expenses related to the use of City roads, properties, parks or equipment and shall be given an estimate of these costs prior to permitting. Once filming begins or is about to begin, if there are any changes to these arrangements, the production company is to be notified immediately. Whenever expenses are anticipated, the production company will be required to issue a purchase order number to the City to cover these costs and may also be asked to pay in advance.

18. Security Deposit

Where deemed necessary by the appropriate City Department/Agency, a security deposit shall be required prior to the issuance of a film permit as stipulated on the permit and this deposit shall not be returned until all invoices, charges and claims have been cleared. Security deposits can be paid by credit card or a certified cheque, made out to Treasurer, City of Toronto.

Safety & Restrictions

19. Safety

  • Interior safety signs in buildings must not be covered, (e.g. fire exit signs) unless expressly agreed to by the property manager/owner.
  • All production companies must adhere to the Ontario Ministry of Labour Safety Guidelines for the Film & Television Industry in Ontario, 4th Edition - January 1999, and
  • Copies of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation's Ontario Traffic Manual Series (OTM) are available for download from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.

20. Film location restrictions

  • There may be sensitive areas and/or properties in the City of Toronto in which filming may be restricted. Specifically, no filming of 360 University Avenue (United States Consulate).
  • Filming on controlled access highways such as the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway requires special consideration.
  • Decisions about the nature and extent of filming in or around a heritage property will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the appropriate municipal heritage officials.
  • The TFTO reserves the right to refuse to issue a permit to a production company or individual who has failed in the past, to adhere to these guidelines or any filming guidelines of the former municipalities now forming the City of Toronto.

ExpandHealth and safety guidelines for the film industry

The Film and Television Industry is a unique business. It also presents unique and unusual occupational health and safety hazards to its workers.

Representatives from the film industry and the Ontario Ministry of Labour formed the Ontario Film and Television Safety Committee in 1998.

The Safety Committee has developed guidelines for everyone in the film and television field. They aim to educate every worker, in all disciplines, at all levels, in the value of hazard recognition and safe working practices.

Education is the foundation of any health and safety program, with knowledgeable performers, support staff, and management working together. The more workers and management know, the more effectively they can identify specific needs and issues before those issues become problems.

All production companies should obtain a copy of this booklet for reference prior to the commencement of production.

The guidelines can be downloaded from the Ministry of Labour website. A hardcopy of this publication can be ordered online at www.publications.serviceontario.ca

ExpandHelicopters and unmanned air vehicles

Helicopter filming

Arrangements must be made for helicopter filming involving landings, take-offs and/or flying at altitudes less than 1,000 feet in the City of Toronto.

  1. The helicopter company should take out insurance with the following requirements on the certificate:
    • The City of Toronto and the film company to be named as additional insured.
    • General Comprehensive Public Liability in the amount of $10 million ($10,000,000).
    • A Cross Liability / Severability of Interest Clause.
  2. The helicopter company conducting the flight is responsible for making the necessary arrangements with Transport Canada for flights in accordance with the altitudes and distances required by the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs).
  3. Transport Canada will conduct a site inspection of the film location and advise the Toronto Film and Television Office of its suitability.

Transport Canada requires two weeks’ notice prior to filming.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

Transport Canada requests a minimum of 20 days’ notice prior to filming using unmanned air vehicles.

Transport Canada approves the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for filming purposes through the issuance of a special flight operations certificate (SFOC).

The UAV operator applies to Transport Canada - Special Flight Operations to obtain the certificate.

For more information on the process of applying for an SFOC please visit the Transport Canada website.

Insurance requirements are as follows.

  1. The City of Toronto and the film company to be named as additional insured.
  2. General Comprehensive Public Liability in the amount of $5 million ($5,000,000).
  3. A Cross Liability / Severability of Interest Clause.

Once the film company informs the TFTO that a UAV will be used in a film shoot, it will be determined if a road closure is required, and if site meetings with the appropriate internal and external stakeholders is required.

The film company must notify area residents and businesses in its letter of notification that filming will involve use of a UAV.

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.

For detailed information visit the Letters of Notification section.

ExpandPaid Duty Officers – Toronto Police Service

Off-duty Toronto Police Service police officers are available for hire to provide police presence for a range of functions including film shoots.

Requests for all Paid Duty Officers are made by submitting the Paid Duty Officer Request form to the Central Paid Duty Office by fax at 416-808-5042. The TFTO in consultation with the Toronto Police Film Liaison Officer determines the number of officers to be assigned according to the need for traffic control and public safety. If special effects are involved it may be necessary to assign an officer from the Public Safety Unit - Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & Explosives (CBRNE).

ExpandParks

High Park sign

We require the following information to arrange for permission to film at a Toronto park:

  • 3 business days' notice prior to the date of filming for small format and 4 business days for large format.
  • A brief description of what the scene involves. A site meeting may be required.
  • The date of filming, times, prep and wrap. (Include a rain date).
  • What equipment is being brought into the park.
  • Total number of cast and crew.
  • Total number of production vehicles and parking location.
  • Any other relevant details (i.e. SPFX, picture vehicles, set dressing, etc.)

Note: In City parks, production vehicles and equipment must not block driveways or other access/egress ramps. There must be at least two feet clearance on either side of a driveway, ramp, or other accesses/egresses/ingresses.

No staking or digging including the use of grounding stakes is permitted in any park at any time unless prior stake-out clearance has been obtained from the appropriate utilities and parks staff.

ExpandProduction Information

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.

Please note, we are no longer accepting Production Information Sheets in PDF format. You must fill out the NEW online Production Information Form.

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 TFTO 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.

ExpandProduction vehicle parking

The following applies to all production units:

  1. Absolutely no crew or cast vehicles shall be parked within the permitted area.
  2. Long format1 productions shall be limited to 40 (red) vehicle permits per production unit. e.g.: Main &/or 2nd. Unit
  3. Short format 2 productions shall be limited to 20 (red) vehicle permits per production.
  4. Usable road allowance will be left to the discretion of TFTO staff in consultation with Works & Emergency Services (WES) staff and the Toronto Police Service (TPS).
  5. No vehicles or trailers with a 'pop out' or 'slider' shall be permitted to extend these devices into traffic, or in the direction of the skip/delineation line.
  6. Sliders may be extended toward the sidewalk, provided that the vehicle remains entirely in the curb lane and does not park beyond the skip/delineation line. Further, that the 'slider' does not occupy, obstruct or unreasonably interfere with pedestrian traffic. Should 'sliders' be used, they must leave a minimum of 5' or 1.5 m of unobstructed sidewalk space and may at no time occupy or obstruct greater than half of the available sidewalk.

1. For the purposes of these recommendations, long format is considered to be anything larger/ longer than a Commercial, Music Video, Industrial and Short Film.

2. For the purposes of these recommendations short format is considered to be anything smaller/ shorter than a TV Series, MOW, or Feature length film.

These recommendations were unanimously agreed to by the Film Liaison Industry Committee; Unit Parking Sub-Committee, comprised of members from the Toronto Film & Television Office, Commercial Production Association of Toronto, IATSE 873, Nabet 700, Toronto Police Service, Works & Emergency Services, August 30, 2000.

ExpandSPFX, firearms and pyrotechnics - guidelines

Use of Special effects Firearms Explosive Devices and Flammable Liquids

It is the responsibility of the production company to ensure that any time firearms, explosive devices or flammable liquids are used or any potentially dangerous stunts are attempted that Traffic Services is consulted to ensure public safety.

Prop guns/ replica firearms

Permits for carrying and use of prop firearms must be obtained. Inquiries regarding firearms may be made to the Toronto Police Service,  Public Safety Unit – CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & Explosives) at 416-808-4900 or Toronto Police Service, Public Safety Unit - Special Events (Film Liaison), 416-808-5049.

Prop guns can be mistaken for genuine firearms by members of the public. This poses potential risks for public safety. The Police will respond to any reported incident under the assumption that the firearm is real and not authorized. If the Public Safety Unit – CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & Explosives) respond this could result in serious consequences including having the production shut down or criminal charges being laid.

If you are filming on public property, a location filming permit is required for both the filming portion of the event as well as use of the replica firearm. If filming is taking place entirely on private property, a location filming permit will be required if there is public showing of a replica firearm.

Obtaining your location filming permit will ensure that the police are properly notified and aware of its use. Should a member of the public call police stating a concern, the police will be prepared with the knowledge that a filming event is taking place using a replica firearm and will be in a position to respond to the call effectively and safely.

Unless permission has first been granted by the Deputy Chief of Field Operations, film company representatives will not be permitted to:

  1. Accompany Police Officers on patrol.
  2. Film in Police buildings.
  3. Borrow or use Police uniforms or equipment.
  4. Include Police Officers in a film production.

Explosives technicians

Location personnel may make arrangements for Public Safety Unit – CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & Explosives) Paid Duty Officers by going directly to the CBRNE to file a Paid Duty Request or fax a request to the Toronto Police Service Film Co-ordinator at fax number 416-808-4901.

Only officers who are qualified police explosives technicians shall do film industry paid duties involving the supervision of explosives or the use of firearms.

In certain circumstances, rather than requiring a bomb technician, officers commonly known as P.E.T.A.s (Police Explosive Technician Assistant) might attend certain film sites where benzoyl peroxide is not being used. P.E.T.A.s are officers who have not been fully trained as bomb technicians however are trained in proving firearms safe and using small squib devices. Under no circumstances shall a P.E.T.A. do a Paid Duty involving the use of high explosives including detonation "det" cord.

It is the responsibility of the Production Company to indicate at the time they make a Paid Duty request for ETF personnel what type of equipment is being used.

Paid Duty Officer Responsibilities

When arriving on set, the Paid Duty Officer

  • Will ensure a valid permit has been issued and the production is operating within the permit parameters
  • Will ensure that all pyro-technicians have the appropriate licensing for the effect(s) to be performed
  • Will ensure that a pyrotechnic plan (where applicable) is being adhered to
  • Will ensure that all explosives on set are properly stored and appropriate safety measures are used
  • Must be satisfied that the gun handler has all the appropriate permits and licences for any weapons he/she brings on set
  • Must check all firearms and ammunition prior to being used on set.
  • Must address improper use of weapons on set
  • Must ensure that adequate safety equipment and/or personnel are on set to handle any emergency situation arising from the use of firearms, explosives or pyrotechnics on set.

It is strongly recommended that when on set Paid Duty Officers are readily recognizable as a police officer.

Safety Issues

All set up and rigging of SPFX must be thoroughly checked by the Paid Duty Officer. Any safety concerns must be brought to the attention of the SPFX pyro-technician. Appropriate safety equipment and safe distances must be maintained during rigging of the effect. Use of portable radios near electric initiation devices must be closely monitored and prevented if it becomes a safety issue.

If a safety issue arises and the SPFX pyro-technician refuses to address your concerns he/she should be cautioned regarding the repercussions of both criminal and civil liability. Further your concerns should be brought to the attention of the 1st A.D. and the on-set safety officer or union representative.

Please note:

  • When a firearm is being used, cast and crew must use all necessary protective equipment.
  • Prior to gunfire or explosions going off, the police radio room must be notified. In the case of an explosion Toronto Fire Services must also be notified.
  • If an accident occurs on set the Paid Duty Officer shall ensure that prompt medical attention is provided.

Personal Injury

If there is personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of firearms, pyrotechnics or explosives the scene should be treated as a crime scene. The on-call explosive technician must be notified and will attend if the circumstances dictate. For all serious injury or fatality the O.I.C. (Officer in Charge) of the explosive section must be notified.

Criminal Charges

If criminal charges are warranted the divisional C.I.B. (Criminal Investigation Branch) should be contacted and requested to attend the scene.

A full TPS 649 (Toronto Police Service) must be completed in addition to any other reports outlining the details of the occurrence and submitted to the Unit Commander CBRNE. An Incident report must be submitted and the appropriate agencies notified for any on set accident.

If there is a problem with the CBRNE attending or not attending the set, the location manager should deal directly with CBRNE.

SPFX pyrotechnics/letter of intent form

Sufficient lead time is essential. If any large format pyrotechnic work is requested, an application should be submitted 72 hours before filming is to begin. Applications submitted without sufficient lead time may be denied without recourse.

The SPFX pyrotechnics/letter of intent form must be filled out by the pyrotechnician when using SPFX explosives / pyrotechnics on film sets in the City of Toronto.

Download the SPFX pyrotechnics/letter of intent form

Please email or fax this form, your site plan and MSDS sheet(s) to:

Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Office
filmtoronto@toronto.ca or Fax: 416-392-0675

Toronto Fire Service
Deputy Fire Chief Director Jim Jessop, jim.jessop@toronto.ca, Fax:  416-338-9060. Heather Smith, Acting Administrative Assistant, heather.smith@toronto.ca.

Public Safety Unit - Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & Explosives (CBRNE)
Fax:  416-808-4901

Blast pressure analysis or demonstration of the effect for SPFX/ pryrotechnics or gunfire may be required prior to a permit being issued.

SPFX firearms and blank gunfire/letter of intent form

The SPFX firearms and blank gunfire/letter of intent form must be filled out by the gun handler when firearms and blank gunfire is used on film sets in the City of Toronto.

Download the SPFX firearms and blank gunfire/letter of intent form

Please email or fax this form to:
Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Office
filmtoronto@toronto.ca or Fax: 416-392-0675

Public Safety Unit - Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & Explosives (CBRNE)
Fax:  416-808-4901

Note: You may also be requested to fax a site plan and MSDS sheet(s). ETS will advise you. The need for ETF supervision when an air capsule gun is used will be determined on a case-by-case basis by ETF. Demonstration of the effect for gunfire may be required prior to a permit being issued.

SPFX squibs only/letter of intent form

The SPFX squibs only/letter of intent form must be filled out by the Pyrotechnician when squibs for bullet hits only are used on film sets in the City of Toronto.

Download the SPFX squibs only/letter of intent form

Please email or fax this form to:
Toronto Film, Television & Digital Media Office
filmtoronto@toronto.ca or Fax: 416-392-0675

Public Safety Unit - Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & Explosives (CBRNE)
Fax:  416-808-4901

ExpandStreet signs, streetlights, bicycle racks - film-related removal/ replacement

Street signs

When it is necessary for street signs or traffic signs to be removed, replaced or covered or for signs and pavement to be marked, the work must be done by City of Toronto, Transportation Services staff. An hourly rate will be charged.

Streetlights

If streetlights need to be controlled, please make a list of the hydro pole numbers. These numbers can be found on a yellow metal plate located approximately 20 feet from the ground on each pole. If you cannot locate the pole numbers, make sure to get accurate addresses and any landmarks that will help with the identification of which lights will be affected. The bagging of streetlights can only be done if approval has been given by Toronto Hydro Street Lighting.

Please also state this request on your location filming permit application.

If approval is granted for your request, Toronto Hydro will take the necessary steps to complete your request.

Removal of pay and display parking meters

The Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) operates approximately 17,300 on-street spaces. Approximately 14,789 spaces are operated by 2,600 Pay and Display machines with the remaining 1,200 being operated by way of single space parking meters.

There may be situations when a scene calls for a pay and display or parking meter to be temporarily removed, decorated or covered. The fee for temporary removal and replacement is $1,500 + HST and is payable by cash or certified cheque to The Toronto Parking Authority. Payment may be made at the Toronto Film and Television Office for forwarding to the Toronto Parking Authority. Please also state this request on your location filming permit application.

To obtain approval and make the necessary arrangements, the location manager must contact the On Street Co-ordinator from Toronto Parking Authority.

On Street Co-ordinator
Toronto Parking Authority
Telephone: 416-393-7397
Hours: M-F 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Closed Statutory Holidays

Removal and/or replacement of bicycle racks / rings

One of the most visible symbols of the City's support for cycling is the post-and-ring bicycle stand. Beginning as a small program in 1984 with the first 25 installations, the program has expanded to meet the growing demand for bicycle parking. To date 6,800 post-and-ring stands have been installed on city sidewalks, largely in response to requests from cyclists and businesses.

The cost for removal of bicycle racks or rings on city streets is $150 per ring and post or per rack which includes removal and re-installation. If just the ring needs to be removed and the post left in place the cost is $50 per ring.

Sufficient notice and payment in advance is required for this work.

ExpandTraffic prohibitions

Production vehicles must be parked on City of Toronto streets in compliance with the following Traffic Prohibitions.

ObjectNo stopping, no standing, no parking1 within:

Bridge/Underpass

No stopping, no standing, no parking

Bus Stop2

18.5 metres prior to Bus Stop - in direction of travel

30.5 metres beyond Bus Stop - in opposite direction of travel

TTC Streetcar Stop3

 

Road width 16.5 metres or less

 

Road width 16.5 metres or more

15 metres prior to Streetcar Stop - in direction of travel

 

36.5 metres beyond Streetcar Stop - in opposite direction of travel

 

24.5 metres beyond Streetcar Stop - in opposite direction of travel

Corner

9 metres - if not signed

15 metres - if signed

Pedestrian Cross Walk

18.5 metres prior to Cross Walk - in direction of travel

30.5 metres beyond Cross Walk - in opposite direction of travel

Dead End

9 metres - if not posted

15 metres - if posted

Fire Hall4

7.5 metres from entrance - same side of street

30.5 metres - opposite side of street (to permit turning radius)

Fire Hydrant

3 metres

Ramp

0.6 metres

Railway Tracks

(Not TTC)

15 metres

Safety Zone

(TTC Island)

15 metres

Traffic Lights

15 metres - with a Paid Duty Officer in intersection

30.5 metres - without Paid Duty Officer in intersection

Tee-Type Intersection

Minimum 9 metres or as signed

1Unless otherwise currently signed/posted to the contrary by City of Toronto Works & Emergency Services.

2TTC / GO Transit may approve exceptions or may elect to relocate Bus Stop at the expense of Production.

3TTC may approve exceptions or may elect to relocate Streetcar Stop at the expense of Production.

4Fire Department may approve exceptions.

ExpandToronto Paramedic Services

Toronto Paramedic Services

Toronto Paramedic Services provides dedicated on-site, medical coverage for all types of events, ranging in size from small film shoots and corporate functions, to community/street events and festivals as well as larger scale events that can draw a million attendees or more. We are the sole ambulance service provider within the City of Toronto that is licensed to transport patients in an emergency situation, to a hospital (under the Ambulance Act of Ontario).

For further information, please visit our Event Planning page on the Toronto Paramedic Services website:

http://torontoparamedicservices.ca/special-units-teams/event-planning/

To request our services for an event, please contact the Toronto Paramedic Services Planning Team:

Dawn Ainsworth
Tel: 416-397-0780

emsplanning@toronto.ca

ExpandTrees and boring holes for film shoots

Urban Forestry By-Laws regulate the injury and destruction of trees on both City and privately owned lands (Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 813, Trees). Removing, trimming and/or cutting of vegetation or trees is prohibited unless approved by the relevant municipal authority.

City-owned trees

The City of Toronto Urban Forestry Services provide the essential services needed to protect, maintain and enhance the existing urban forest, including requests for servicing trees on city property, administration of tree bylaws, tree planting in city parklands and on streets, public planting events, management of ravines.

Privately owned trees

While the majority of Toronto's trees grow on private property, they are an important part of the urban forest that is nurtured and protected by Urban Forestry Services. In some cases, trees on private property are protected and regulated under the provisions of municipal by-laws.

Effective September 30, 2004, Toronto City Council enacted a city-wide by-law to protect trees situated on private property. This by-law is known as City of Toronto municipal code, chapter 813, article III, 'Tree Protection' and is commonly referred to as the city's "private tree by-law". This by-law regulates injury or removal of privately owned trees which measure 30 cm in diameter or more as measured at 1.4 m above ground level.

Boring Holes

All details and drawings need to be submitted by the film company. This information will be noted on the location filming permit.
Requests to bore holes on the City right-of-way for SOUTH District (Toronto & East York) should be directed to Right-of-Way Management Section.