Bloor/Symington/Sterling Developments

Recently the new "C-Store and Cafe" opened up at Sterling and Bloor. Now the building next door is also being renovated. Here's a photo. Anyone know what's going in to this building? It would be great to have a renewed retail strip along this stretch of Bloor St.

Hopefully the arrival of Pinewood Studios will help attract more business as well. There was another article in Friday's Toronto Star about the Pinewood development.

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CastlePoint Meeting

Word on the street is that there is a meeting with CastlePoint and residents on Wednesday night, is that true? What would the meeting be about?

Studio Probably Dead Now

Basically this story shows that Pinewood and Castlepoint lost in their bid to open Filmport. Then the biz tanked and things changed and now they are essentially taking over Filmport from the original owner. I would say this is the end of the road for Pinewood/Castlepoint building a studio on Sterling.

Pinewood doubts

The possibility of our local Pinewood studio happening has dropped some more:

Pinewood in fact had bid in 2004 to build what is now the Filmport studio, but lost out to a competing bid. Pinewood and Castlepoint Group then bought a site at Bloor St. W. and Lansdowne Ave. to build their own studio.

Alfredo Romano, a principal at Castlepoint, would not comment yesterday.

However, if the deal goes through, the west end Toronto studio that was supposed to be slated for Pinewood would likely not proceed, says a source.

Complete article in today's Star:

Goodbye Pinewood

The underlying fact is that two separate former rivals are now partners; that says a lot about the overall health of the business. Technically the studio pie has has gotten smaller.

What now? That land is under the fuzzy "employment lands" designation which should keep ugly stacked townhouses away for a while but not forever.

FilmPort Opens with doubt

Again, I do want to see Pinewood happen, I just dont believe it will.

Pinewood Studio future is getting cloudy

News came last week that Canwest is pulling out of the beloved Cinevillage studios on Heward Avenue in the east end. There are a lot of industry issues at play here and technically most of Canwest's space was TV studio space as opposed to film studio space, so the author of the Star story is slightly confusing uses. The industry sees Canwest's move purely as a money saving tactic as Canwest is in a crisis financial mode right now.

The bottom line is that a really nice facility has now entered the market place at a time when production in film (and TV to some extent) is low. Cinevillage is now a competitor to West end studios like Studio City on Pardee Avenue and to be honest most people would chose Cinevillage if they had the option. So there could also be a further concentration of production services in the east end. Sim Video on Atlantic and Whites on Islington are now the only big service suppliers in the west end. The point here is that studios are more than just big rooms, they need easy access to gear and support services. Pinewood will need to entice a lot of that from scratch in a market that currently has extra capacity. I would be surprised to see anything firm about Pinewood at this time.

I reiterate that I personally would love the studio to happen.

Nonna's Place

Nonna's Place and C-StoreNonna's Place and C-Store
Looks like a new Italian take-out restaurant called Nonna's Place is getting ready to open up, next to the C-Store.




Good Food at Nonna's place

On Saturday my wife and I went for a sandwich at Nonna's place. I must brought back memories of the good old days. Reminded me of my nonna's kitchen! The veal and meatball sandwich was to die for and was an affordable price!!! Keep up the good work! I look forward to the next time we are in town to indulge in your homemade cooking. Thanks F & T


I went to Nonna's one morning last week and picked up a cherry turnover. Went back on Saturday to get a sausage sandwich w/ marinara sauce for myself, and a grilled veggie sandwich for my fiancee. Both were delicious. Very friendly service too.

I'm looking forward to trying their full hot lunch sometime, and apparently they will also be experimenting with extended hours on some nights.


I read about the Plan B for the site on this blog:

"should that not be a go, Castlepoint says they will continue with redevelopment, and will seek businesses in the creative industry as tenants -- graphic arts, architecture, IT, recording studios, etc."

Pinewood Remains to be seen

I do caution people that the studio is not a done deal and people really need to stop talking like it will open for sure. Studio developments this size have a habit of not happening.

Currently there is great concern in the film and TV movie biz about the lack of projects in the city. I am in the biz and many of my friends are not working and are worried. Toronto may remain a media center but in fact a lot of the production that is still coming to the GTA is heading to places like Hamilton (Hulk) where there is more space and more locations (due to Toronto conversions, condos, and gentrification) are available. Many other production centers like Hamilton have caught on to what Toronto was doing and offer as good as packages and have large studio spaces. The Star story includes this.....

"Both developers have said more competition is good for the industry – but it remains to be seen if there will be enough work to go around given the strong Canadian dollar and increased global competition."

6 sound stages is a lot of capacity and remember that there are lots of other studios like Studio City on Pardee Avenue already around. I would add that the Filmport, like the Toronto Film Studios where I shot, has access to the DVP which makes a big difference to some films.

Personally I would love to see the studio happen as it would bring Bloor Street alive and bring new people and jobs to the area. If it does not happen then people need to be aware as the Star writes...

"Castlepoint, meanwhile, is a major Toronto developer, and the largest private landowner on the waterfront. The company, known for its high-profile projects, will build the Daniel Libeskind-designed L Tower at the Sony Centre."

Castlepoint doesn't buy the land in the speculative studio business without having a plan b which as far as I know has not been made public. Next chance we get we should start asking what plan b is.

Yes, that would be a surprise

Yes, that would be a surprise welcome if we had some new bizness'es prop up on that short strip (ie Symington/Bloor).

As for the Pinewood development, I live across from them on Perth. There has been increased activity, as they have restricted residence and the Church from using their parking lot. In the morning I have been seeing crew walk into the building. I think they are still testing soil and air etc. . .

I highly doubt the project is going to be up and running in a year. They originally planned for it to be open by Fall 2008. And as for Pinewood, they haven't offically signed on, so the door is still open for clean industerial companies to come in and open up shop.