Greetings from the Heart of Niagara
Welcome to St. Catharines – Everywhere is Here.
Are you a filmmaker focusing on St. Catharines for your next shoot? The City of St. Catharines is here to help, from preparing for production to calling 'Action!'. Our Team has experience working with the film industry and have an eye for ideal locations and resources that will help you with your filming needs. As an affordable filming destination with numerous scenic locations of interest, St. Catharines offers a range of opportunities for scouts. Whether it’s our sunny, west coast beaches, east coast port towns, or our historic main streets and buildings, St. Catharines has much to offer no matter the genre and type of film.
"Downtown St. Catharines has a beautiful historic built form mixed with modern and eclectic buildings. The beauty and variety make it a perfect setting for filming."
Rachel Braithwaite, Executive Director, St. Catharines Downtown Association
Open for Business
Support from businesses, industry, residents and City Staff. We are ready to welcome productions large and small to St. Catharines and will assist with everything you need from start to finish.
"Whether it is our unique downtown core, our heritage neighbourhoods, the rolling farmlands, our waterfront landscapes or our elegant vineyards - St. Catharines is an exceptional choice as a backdrop for all types of production."
Mayor Mat Siscoe
Creativity Lives Here
With our creative industries infrastructure and support businesses throughout St. Catharines we have the talent, companies and technology to boost any production.
"St. Catharines believes in the power of the creative sector to build amazing cities. We are ready to open our doors to filmmaking in a way that will also change our city for the better"
Colleen Smith, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
Diverse Locations with a Vibrant Downtown
St. Catharines can be a location for nearly anywhere in the world from the beautiful beaches to historic buildings to bustling and historic downtown core. We have the look you need!
The Word is Out
Discover what previous productions already know: flexibility and affordability make St. Catharines the perfect location for film projects of all kinds.
No matter your location, no matter how big or small your shoot, please fill in an application so that our team can assist in executing your filming and all requirements flawlessly.
Film Application Fee: $60.20
(per location – public OR private property)
A Film Application for each location must be submitted at least 10 business days before you plan to start filming in St. Catharines. Processing times may vary, and additional time may be required to process applications for productions that involve road closures, special effects, or other special requirements.
Additional applications, agreements and/or fees may be required.Apply Today
The City of St. Catharines Film Policy
Filming in St. Catharines must meet the requirements of the City's Film Policy, which outlines guidelines and applications for filming in St. Catharines. This policy streamlines the application process and ensures safety and reduces potential disruptions for production, residents, and businesses.
List a location
Register your Property
Are you interested in having your property featured on screen? Do you know a location that is film-friendly that would be perfect for the next action film or historical television series? If so, then contact our office to find out more information about how these properties can be added to the Ontario Creates Location Library.
We are looking to increase film production in St. Catharines and to do this we want to provide access to many different types of locations that producers and scouts can review. Any property from private homes, to offices to industrial warehouses, to school and more are ideal to be included as potential film locations.
If you have questions or are interested in receiving more information on how to post a property on the Locations Library, please reach out to the filmSTC Team today!
Located an hour from Toronto – St. Catharines is in the heart of the Niagara Region with access to railways, highways, an airport and a scenic port with access to the Welland Canal. St. Catharines offers a diverse backdrop for locations including a unique downtown core, heritage neighbourhoods, rolling farmlands, prestigious schools, waterfront landscapes, elegant vineyards and gritty industrial lands.
In addition to overseeing film applications for the City of St. Catharines, the Economic Development & Tourism Services office connects industry to local talent and resources including locations, film services, cast and crew, catering, transportation, accommodations and more.
The City of St. Catharines has dozens of properties listed on the Ontario Creates Digital Location Library which offers promotional resources and other services to help production companies select Ontario sites for filming projects. Our knowledgeable staff are aware of the numerous assets in St. Catharines, just waiting for the opportunity to be discovered!
Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC) - a refundable tax credit based upon Ontario qualifying production expenditures (labour, service contracts and tangible property expenditures) incurred by a qualifying corporation with respect to an eligible film or television production
Ontario Film & Television Tax Credit - a refundable tax credit based upon eligible Ontario labour expenditures incurred by a qualifying production company with respect to an eligible Ontario production. As St. Catharines is outside of the GTA, productions are eligible for the regional bonus.
Ontario Film Fund - intended to increase the level of domestic feature film production in Ontario. It provides support to Ontario producers for feature film projects with development and production financing.
Ontario Computer Animation &Special Effects Tax Credit - a refundable tax credit based on eligible Ontario labour expenditures incurred by a qualifying corporation during a taxation year with respect to eligible computer animation and special effects activities.
Ontario Creates – the Film Commission is the hub of film activity in the Province of Ontario which offers consultation services, liaison support and locations/scouting information.
Production Guide – a one stop shop from Ontario Creates on the services available across Ontario to support productions.
Film Ontario – advocacy group on behalf of the industry at all levels to promote Ontario as a leading production jurisdiction.
NABET 700-M UNIFOR is a union of film, television and new media technicians that has serviced the greater Toronto area for over 45 years.
Directors Guild of Canada in Ontario – a provincial labour organization that represents key creative and operational specialists.
Writers Guild of Canada – union representing professional screenwriters across Canada.
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of over 28,000 members across the country - the foundation of Canada's highly acclaimed professional performing community.
A film application is required for filming on municipal properties. If you are filming on private property, please contact our office to discuss the project. We can help connect you with property owners or suggest film locations you may not have considered.
The first step is to contact the filmSTC office. Film permit applications must be received no less than 10 business days prior to the start of filming. Additional time may be required for more complex filming, which may result in additional processing time.
Based on the 2022 Rate and Fees approved by Council, a standard film application fees $60.20 (tax incl.) In some cases, a film production may require a legal agreement. Additional fees will apply.
This will depend on your location and film shoot. Some additional fees can include:
- Niagara Regional Police
- Fire Services
- Road Closure Applications
- Rental Fees for Municipal Property
- SPFX and Pyrotechnics Experts
Normally, the City of St. Catharines requires a Certificate of Insurance naming The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines, PO Box 3012, 50 Church Street, St. Catharines ON, L2R 7C2 as an additional insured.
The insurance requirements are Commercial General Liability in the amount of $5M including:
- Municipality as Additional Insured
- Cross Liability / Severability of Interests clause
- Contractual Liability
- Minimum thirty (30) day’s written notice of cancellation or non-renewal to the Municipality
- Non-owned automobile liability
Beyond this, filmSTC staff will work with Legal Services to determine the amount of liability insurance needed beyond this based on the requirements in your film application.
Yes. Delivery of notification letters to both residents and businesses in the impacted area is a requirement prior to filming. Ensuring the community is aware of upcoming filming is extremely vital to the success of the industry. filmSTC staff will ensure that City Councillors are aware of film projects and the Corporate Communication team will send out messaging as well to assist in keeping the community up to date.
Exemptions to the Noise By-Law can be considered on a case-by-case basis. Productions are responsible for canvasing the impacted community and obtaining signatures or non-objections from the impacted residents and businesses. filmSTC staff will provide a map/diagram of all impacted residents to be canvassed.
If a minimum 66% of those surveyed provide responses and do not object, then a special circumstance for overnight filming will be provided.
filmSTC staff will assist and connect with the appropriate departments to help reserve these properties for filming.
filmSTC staff will review the location of the proposed road closure and determine the impacts on municipal and regional services. The City of St. Catharines will provide information and assist in reviewing and coordinating these requests.
filmSTC staff will require a detailed plan for any filming that includes the use of SPFX, pyrotechnics or squibs. Additional permits may be required. These will be circulated to Niagara Regional Police Services, St. Catharines Fire Services and other departments for review and consideration. Additional personnel may need to be present to supervise the shoot and ensure safety.
In addition to the above, some considerations are:
- Re-routing of Niagara Transit or moving of bus stops
- Street light modification
- Clean-Up and Waste Collection
- Construction or Building of Sets
- Impacts on Businesses (deliveries, loading zones, waste collection)
- Use of Fire Hydrants
- Large Equipment Location and Storage
- Base Camp Parking for Large vehicles
filmSTC staff are available to answer any questions you have about filming requirements, application process, location availability and more.Get In Touch
Whether scouting to find locations matching a script, looking for a hidden gem location or bringing a blockbuster feature film to the Niagara Region, our staff are ready to assist with anything you need and make your experience in St. Catharines a huge success.