Vancouver is like Canada’s Hollywood. More than 48,000 jobs are generated by the city’s film and TV production studios. Vancouver also has the world’s most VFX and animation studios, which include Image Works, Industrial Light & Magic, Sony Pictures, and Animal Logic. British Columbia’s main film studio, Bridge Studios, is also located in Vancouver.
Vancouver’s entertainment industry fuels the city’s real estate market, and it’s not hard to see why. Studios and film companies’ employees need properties to rent and buy. With the city’s movie industry growing larger every day, it’s likely that there will be a continued drive for properties in the area.
This article will explore this topic in greater detail:
Hollywood North is the name given to Canada’s film industry, most often applied to the cities of Toronto and Vancouver. The film industry’s biggest actors and directors regularly visit Vancouver, whether to work on feature films or to scout locations. Some of the decade’s biggest films (Deadpool, Deadpool 2, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) have been filmed in the city. One reason that Vancouver is so popular with Hollywood A-listers is that it’s very easy to blend into the crowd there. Nobody pays much attention everybody is focused on doing their own thing and living their own lives.
The primary reason that film directors choose Vancouver for the location of their films is that it stands in pretty well for areas of the United States, like New York for example. The weather in Vancouver is pretty mild, the entire year-round. This makes it ideal for shooting. It doesn’t get extremely hot in the summers, either. The majority of filming takes place in the summer months. The temperate climate makes it more convenient for filmmakers to shoot their movies. Actors don’t complain about the heat, there’s lots of sunlight, and it seldom rains during the summer.
Vancouver has been popular with Hollywood types and film producers for many years, however. It isn’t a recent thing. The original MacGyver series was filmed in Vancouver and its surrounding areas. Additionally, the original X-Files series was filmed there. The reason was that Vancouver could double as Washington DC’s suburbs. The resemblance between the two areas is uncanny.
Some other famous films that have been shot in Vancouver include The A-Team; The Butterfly Effect; Happy Gilmore; Insomnia; Jumanji, and Double Jeopardy.
Many of Hollywood’s most famous actors and comedians are also from Vancouver, so returning there to film is an enjoyable experience for them and probably why so many insist upon filming their own movies there. Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen are both from Vancouver. The two collaborate on a lot of projects. Canadian filmmaker Mena Shum is also from Vancouver. Neill Blomkamp, Ryan Reynolds, and Sturla Gunnarsson are also from the city. Ryan Reynolds.
If you go out in Vancouver and travel around the central area, there’s a very high chance that you will run into Hollywood stars there. It’s like a second home to many of them.
The city’s film industry is fuelling its real estate market. There are three main reasons for this. The main reason is that the film studio staff need accommodation, as do the film studios. More often than not, when celebrities come to film in Vancouver, rather than staying in hotels they stay in properties owned by the studios themselves. The studios, therefore, have to invest in Vancouver real estate, which can be very expensive. In addition to housing staff and celebrities, film studios have to purchase offices in the area, which are usually in the city’s downtown district and can be worth millions of dollars. Film studios aren’t the only property needed, however. They also need filming locations, such as large warehouses and complexes where they can shoot scenes that don’t need to be filmed outside. This real estate costs a lot of money. When film studios don’t need to buy real estate, they lease it. They have to go through realtors to lease property, however, therefore contributing to Vancouver’s real estate industry. Realtors take a commission off of the top of every lease and sale they make.
Another reason that the film industry is fuelling Vancouver’s real estate industry is that all of the studio staff that aren’t special enough to receive their own housing paid for by the studio, have to rent or buy their own properties. Some choose to buy, because they have long-term jobs in the city, while others prefer to lease. Leasing is more common among junior staff, or those with families in different areas, who live in the city temporarily. It is very common for studio staff to rent temporary houses or apartments in Vancouver, but live full-time somewhere else. Some studio staff also rent apartments and houses in the neighboring townships, because they are considerably cheaper to live in than Vancouver is. Vancouver is a very expensive city, partly due to its connection with the film industry, and also because it is a very safe and pleasant place to live.
The final reason that Vancouver’s film industry is boosting its real estate industry is that people like to live near celebrities, it’s that simple. Wherever celebrities move and live, wealthy people tend to follow. When there is a large community of celebrities living in an area, it tends to mean that it is a ‘happening’ place to be – somewhere with a lively social scene. Wealthy people aren’t the only ones that move to cities with high celebrity populations, however. When there’s a large number of celebrities and wealthy people in an area, the area generally tends to be quite safe and usually has good infrastructure. This results in ordinary working folk moving into neighboring suburbs and townships so that they can benefit from the infrastructure created and maintained by wealthy people and celebrities. The large influx of people moving to Vancouver just to be near the likes of Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogan has boosted the real estate industry massively.
Because of the city’s longstanding connection with the film industry, it should come as no surprise that there are myriad filming locations known to movie lovers located there. Each year, thousands visit the city just to see these locations. This gives a very large boost to the city’s tourism industry. Some of the people that visit like the city so much that they decide to relocate there permanently, benefitting the real estate industry. The film industry has undoubtedly contributed tremendously to the city’s tourism industry because besides filming locations there’s a limited amount to see.
Some of the city’s most popular shooting locations include:
Buntzen Lake is located in the Greater Vancouver area. You probably know it as Lake Mantioc, from the television show Supernatural. The lake is great for fishing, and boating, and there are fantastic hiking trails running through the hills and woodland around it.
Green College is part of the University of British Columbia, featured in the television series Supernatural. It was featured in the ‘Phantom Traveller’ episode. The University of British Columbia has also featured in myriad other films and television programs, including Smallville.
CBC Vancouver was used in the DC Comics TV series The Flash. The Flash is extremely popular, both in comic and television form. The CBC Vancouver building was used as S.T.A.R Labs. UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Building was also used in The Flash series, as Stagg Industries.
Gastown is the city’s oldest neighborhood. Not only does it have lots of charming bars and restaurants, but it is also the city’s most popular filming location. The reason for this is because it has cobbled streets, beautiful architecture, and a moody vibe. It has been featured in 50 Shades of Grey, I, Robot, Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, and Arrow, as well as other films.
Vancouver Art Gallery has also been featured in over 100 different films and television shows. The most popular of these include The Flash series, as well as in X Men: The Last Stand, Night at the Museum, Smallville.
Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s most beautiful areas, known for its forested hills, sandy beaches, and lakes. The area’s Lost Lagoon has featured in a lot of different television shows and films, including 50 Shades of Grey and Once Upon a Time.
Whytecliff Park is located in West Vancouver and featured heavily in the Twilight series. Edward Cullen’s house is located nearby, also. The house sold for over $3 million, further demonstrating the point that the film industry has given a significant boost to realtors’ business in the area.
Vancouver Island is another popular shooting location. Hatley Castle, located on the island, was used in the Smallville series as Lex Luther’s mansion. The Marine Building or Daily Planet as you might know was also located there. Arrow also used locations on Vancouver Island, including Hatley Castle, which featured the Queen Family Mansion in it. The island is incredibly beautiful and is a very popular tourist destination. The majority of tourism is fuelled by the city’s film industry, but some come for the area’s natural beauty.
Vancouver’s many realtors will be pleased to know that the city’s film industry is going from strength to strength. Investment is pouring in, with independent studios opening on a regular basis. Many of the areas filming locations are booked for use for the rest of the year. Additionally, there’s lots of animated work taking place at the moment. There is a huge drive for animated content in the world of film and considering that the city has more animation studios than any other in the world, it’s not surprising that a lot of animated work is taking place there.
The Vancouver Economic Commission has said that the city’s television and film industry was worth over $3 billion in 2019/20. It’s expected to rise exponentially in the coming years.
Some of the films and television series that were and are being shot in Vancouver this year include:
● Balestra, directed by Nicole Dorsey and starring Tessa Thompson and Marwan Kenzari. Filming began in January and ended in March. The film is a psychological thriller about a fencer staging a comeback in the Olympics. The film’s lead Tessa Thompson was in Vancouver several years ago, filming an episode of Jordan Peele’s hit series The Twilight Zone.
● Shogun, starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Anna Sawai, and Cosmo Jarvis began filming in January. Filming’s set to wrap at the end of April. It is an FX drama miniseries, based upon the 1975 novel by James Clavell. It is a remake of the 1980 series.
● The Fall of the House of Usher is an Edgar Allen Poe adaptation, starring Mark Hamill of Star Wars fame, Carla Gugino, Mary McDonnell, Carl Lumby, and Frank Langella. Filming began in January and is ending in May.
● A Million Little Things is in its fourth season and will be filmed in Vancouver. The series stars David Giuntoli, Grace Park, Romany Malco, Christina Moses, Allison Miller, James Rodriguez, Tristan Byon, Lizzy Greene, and Stephanie Szostak.
● Charmed, a reboot of the series of the same name is filming its fourth season in Vancouver, from January to April. The cast includes Melonie Diaz, Madeleine Mantock, and Sarah Jeffery.
● Kung Fu: Season 2 is an incredibly popular series, renewed for its second season. It was filmed in Vancouver from January to March and includes Olivia Liang, Kheng Hua Tan, and Tzi Ma.
With many more films and series scheduled for filming in the city – and animation studios hiring new people, it’s fair to say that the film industry will continue to boost local real estate. As it does so, local house prices will rise, new developments will be ordered for construction, and rent prices will increase. While for average people, this is problematic, for realtors this is fantastic news. It means that there will be lots of business, and this business will likely continue for a very long time. A good sign for Vancouver is that streaming services (Netflix and Amazon Prime) are filming there. The Hollywood film industry is in decline, with streaming services taking over. Streaming services are themselves filming there, which means that Vancouver’s film industry is going to continue growing and getting stronger.
House prices in Vancouver can be very expensive, because of the city’s large film industry, and because it is a very popular place to live. It is one of the most desirable places to live in all of Canada. If you are considering moving there, then you will need to bear house prices in mind. Make sure to do your research beforehand, and to find an experienced and professional realtor to work with.