Information for Hamilton Residents and Business Owners
All productions are required to work safely. This includes following the Safety Guidelines for the Film & Television Industry in Ontario, the Ontario Traffic Manual Book 7, and any other relevant legislation.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario Section 21 Health and Safety Committee COVID-19 Guidance Document has been approved by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD). These guidelines were developed by the Section 21 Film and Television Health and Safety Advisory Committee, a public and private advisory body to the MLTSD pursuant to Section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Additional information about the safe return of the film industry in Ontario is available here.
In order to obtain a film permit in Hamilton, productions must confirm that they will work in accordance with all safety guidelines and confirm that they have a health and safety plan in place for each film shoot.
All filming that takes place in the City of Hamilton must abide by Film By-law No. 09-179 (PDF, 518 KB), which was created to control location filming to ensure the safety and comfort of residents, business owners, and motorists.
Questions or Concerns About Filming
Production companies recognize that they are guests in your neighbourhood and work directly with residents and businesses to resolve concerns. Should you have a concern about filming, we encourage you to contact the production’s Location Manager as a first step. Location Managers are typically onsite or have contact with crews working onsite who are able to respond to your concern. Contact details for Location Managers are listed on the filming notification letter, or you can approach a member of the crew and ask them to have the Location Manager contact you.
The Location Manager is the member of the production responsible for managing the site during filming and minimizing impacts to the community. It is important that they are made aware of any issues or concerns so that these can be resolved quickly.
The Hamilton Film Office also assists with complaint resolution and questions about productions. If you have any concerns about filming in your neighbourhood, contact the Hamilton Film Office at 905-546-4233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that our phones are monitored Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and calls/emails are returned within 48 business hours of your enquiry.
Register Your Property for Filming
You can list your property in the Digital Locations Library with Ontario Creates if you would like your property used for filming.
A Production Company Asks to Film on Your Property
If you have been approached by a production or received a scouting letter expressing interest in your property and have concerns, call the Film Office. We can confirm the legitimacy of a production company, the Location Manager and any assistants/scouts. Here is a list of potential questions to ask / topics to cover when a production company requests to film at your property.
- Ask which dates will the production be filming on your property with all of their cast, crew and equipment.
- Confirm if there are any days needed for preparation (set dressing)? If so, how many.
- Confirm how much time will be needed to clean up and restore locations to their original state once filming has concluded.
- Confirm what modifications to the site will be required.
- Ask for a damage deposit. Should be provided as certified cheque which is held, uncashed, and then returned to the production company once the filming is completed and both parties are satisfied that the site has been returned to its original or agreed upon state.
- Confirm how many film production personnel will be involved during filming, preparation and clean up.
- Confirm how many and what types of vehicles require parking on your property.
- Location fees need to be negotiated and once this has been agreed upon, ask for payment of the fee in advance.
- Ask for your property to be named as the additional insured on the production company’s insurance policy. The property owner should request proof of the production company’s general liability insurance
Best practice is to have one designated site representative identified as the main point of contact for the production company and to be present at all times. This person should be familiar with the property and be able to control alarms, electrical panels, etc. as appropriate. If required, the cost of this person can be charged back to the production company.
Prior to finally choosing the location, the will be two or three site visits with various personnel. They will take photos and discuss the scenes they will shoot to determine if the site will work for their scene. It is during these visits that rules, regulations and limitations for your site need to be outlined and addressed. Once your site is chosen, a technical survey will take place (usually 25 to 50 people in attendance) that will cover all of the details required for the filming days.