Construction on $40M 'creative campus' could begin this summer

The Ottawa Film Office and TriBro Studios plan to build four sound stages as well as office space for film production, animation and training on the site of a former federal animal research centre. (Ottawa Film Office and TriBro Studios)

Construction on Ottawa’s new filmmaking complex could begin as early as this summer, after the city’s planning committee gave it the go-ahead Thursday.

The project will see four sound stages built on the Greenbelt, across Woodroffe Avenue from the Nepean Sportsplex.

“It’s hard to be against it really,” said Bruce Harvey, Ottawa’s film commissioner.

Sound stages are in short supply around the world, Harvey said, with some production companies forced to shoot in rat-infested warehouses and other dilapidated buildings.

‘A sexy building’

The 8.4-hectare property, formerly a federal animal research centre, belongs to the National Capital Commission.

The Ottawa Film Office plans to lease the land while its development partner, Toronto’s TriBro Studios, will spend about $40 million to construct the sound stages, office and work areas, turning it into a creative campus.

The area will soon be bustling with innovation.– Catherine Callary, Ottawa Film Office

Film office chair Catherine Callary told the committee the site is ideal because it’s close to both the airport and animation studios and Algonquin College.