North Star Studios to convert Ontario mining site into major studio

The Canadian company has invested $26m in a bid to become the region's largest studio space with five soundstages

By Priyanca Rajput 8 Jun 2022

North Star Studios to convert Ontario mining site into major studio
Credit: Epiroc

North Star Studios has purchased a property in North Bay's West Ferris industrial park with a view to make the northern Ontario city a film and television production hub.

According to CBC, the Canadian company has invested $26m into transforming Epiroc - a mining supply company - to become the region's largest studio facility and create a foothold for the local screen industry in the future.

They have acquired a 100,000-square-foot property from the company and plan to convert the majority of the space into five sound stages for film and TV productions. 

The building is on 4.8 hectares of land, which North Star Studios president Mitch Ouimette said will pave the way for expansion.

'Ultimately, when we're done, we should see somewhere around a half a million square feet of new stages built across the North Bay area,' Ouimette said.

'Now we're talking over somewhere between five, six, seven, eight years,' he added. 

Ouimette expects the development could create up to 1,000 new jobs in North Bay, and would see people working directly within the film and TV productions. As well as construction, hospitality and other interrelated sectors.

He told the outlet North Bay has the potential to compete with large film and TV production hubs such as Toronto, Atlanta and London.

'At some point in time, a person in Atlanta thought, 'Geez, this would make a great film hub.' And they did it,' he said.

He added: 'At some point in time, somebody in London had a similar thought and they accomplished it. Now my team and I are standing here saying, 'Why can't North Bay be the next film hub in the entertainment world?'

The studio has already signed a $150m deal over two years with a film production company called ORWO Group. They already have three movies planned to shoot at the facilities and some TV shows in the area.

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