Pickering is in the 'Zone' !

Just thirty minutes from the heart of Toronto, Pickering is still in the 'zone' and we love to host the film industry !   

Pickering is an easy and convenient film location. It is the first municipality east of Toronto with access to both Hwy. 401, and Hwy. 407 ETR, and 30-minute access to 4 different airports - Pearson, Billy Bishop, Buttonville and Oshawa.

The City has long been a favourite location for filmmakers. We aim to make your experience as seamless as possible through a number of services including:

  • location scouting assistance
  • providing information about neighbourhoods, organizations, and properties
  • providing contacts for other governments and agencies
  • coordinating necessary approvals within City Departments
  • notifying the community on filming activity
Film Location Permit Process and Fees

Our Film Location Permit fee for City of Pickering road occupancy is a flat rate of $250 plus HST. This fee can cover multiple locations over multiple days, provided the occupancy relates to a single film activity occurring over consecutive days.

Just submit the completed Film Location Permit Form that will automatically be sent to our Film Liaison Office by email.

If your plan includes use a City owned facility or public park, we'll connect you to the right staff for issuance of a Facility Rental Agreement or Park Rental Permit.

Questions or concerns about your Film Location Permit? Contact our Film Liaison Office directly at 905.420.4617.  We're here to help.

Drones
The City of Pickering does not regulate the use of drones for commercial filming.  We require that use of drones is conducted by a licenced Drone operator who abides by terms of that Federally regulated licence.  The City of Pickering reserves the right to request a copy of the certification, for our records.
SPFX

Use of SPFX that are fire or incendiary-based must be reviewed by the City of Pickering, Fire Prevention Office.  Fire Services staff will determine if the activity requires a Fire Services permit and attendance on site by our Pickering Fire Service team, or whether certified SPFX personnel contracted by the film production company can be used. (Note: if City of Pickering Fire personnel are required, but not available, no other private fire service or personnel will be allowed as a substitute.)

Non-incendiary SPFX such as gunfire no longer requires on site attendance by Durham Region Police Services tactical teams. However, details of the SPFX explosives or gunfire must be reported to the City of Pickering Film Liaison Office as well as the Durham Region Police services, prior to commencement of filming.

Locations

Filming in the hamlet of Whitevale Pickering offers an eclectic mix of locations, including open, rural countryside with rolling farmlands, country side roads, and miles of pristine hiking trails. If you're looking for a faster pace, take a look at our emerging, City Centre. Need something more breezy? Pickering's Nautical Village features an intimate waterfront community on the shores of Frenchman's Bay and Lake Ontario.

Heritage spirit abounds in Pickering. Home of the largest living history museum in Durham Region, the buildings and streetscapes of our Pickering Museum Village will transport you back to the 19th century. And don't forget to take a look at our heritage protected hamlets.

 Pickering Museum Village
Pickering Museum Village, 2365 Concession Road 6, Hamlet of Greenwood

Map & Description of Village Buildings

Take a walk through time. The Pickering Museum Village brings the Canadian settler experience to life. It is the largest living history museum in Durham, and a cherished historical secret that we've shared with residents, visitors and the film industry for many years.

The village is nestled on the banks of Duffins Creek in the quaint hamlet of Greenwood, providing a truly distinct setting. Whether you need heritage accuracy, or a timeless 'backwoods' environment, Pickering Museum Village can provide it.  Supported by space for greenroom, craft services and parking, this enchanting place offers infinite possibilities for your film vision.

Forested paths lead into a scenic streetscape that winds through the village's 20 heritage buildings dating from as early as 1810, including a blacksmith's shop, log barn and house, school house, temperance hotel, steam barn and chapel. White picket fences and period gardens lace the dusty street corners where the orchards and apple trees grow wild. The beautiful streetscape of perfectly preserved and restored historical buildings with broad verandas and rustic porches are accompanied by a lush green countryside dotted with wildflowers.

Filming fees start at:

$90 per hour +HST for set/strike

$200 per hour +HST for 14 hours of active filming

$275 per hour +HST for active filming after 14 hours

These fees include an on-site museum staff person to ensure your experience runs smoothly. Extra staff deemed necessary to manage the site will be invoiced at $40 per hour per staff member.

Hamlets

Pickering is dotted with vintage hamlets and surrounded by natural beauty. We've retained all the charm and character of a small town, while making huge strides in maturing as a city.

The special character of the Hamlet of Whitevale has been maintained and enhanced since its settlement in the early 1800's. The hamlet, located along the banks of Duffin's Creek, provides a distinctive setting with much of the original Victorian influenced architecture still in place. Filming activities in the Hamlet of Whitevale are overseen by the City of Pickering as well as the Whitevale & District Residents Association.  Consult the guidelines below for further information.

Read the Whitevale Filming Guidelines

 Nautical Village & Frenchman's Bay
The busy city pace slows down as you enter our beautiful Nautical Village. A perfect pathway dotted with shops and cafes that seamlessly merge with Lake Ontario. Here, you'll also find the sparkling waters of Frenchman's Bay, the largest natural bay on Lake Ontario. Sailboats docked next to bayside restaurants provide a perfect nautical backdrop.

 

Testimonials

Don't just take our word for it...

I know that I can call Economic Development staff any time and get all the help and cooperation anyone could ask for. My phone calls are always answered promptly and answers are sought out if not readily available. We in the film business have some spectacular requests at times and the City of Pickering is always there to help. I have been working with the City for many years, going back to my first job as a Location Manager on Road to Avonlea in 1990. 
- Arthur Clarke, Location Manager 
  Sunshine Sketches of A Little Town

When scouting for film or TV in the GTA, one always has to consider the 'zone'. Pickering offers country looks, farms and farmland, quaint village looks, suburban and upscale homes and a spectacular waterfront. Finding all this in one area keeps us on budget and the City's efficient permit process keeps us on time. Pickering is always one of the first places I look when I need a diverse cross-section of "looks". 
- Ingrid Fielden, Location Scout/ Manager 
  SPY FILMS

I have been privileged to live in a wonderful Pickering century farm house for the past 42 years, during which, my family and I have hosted many film shoots. It has been a great experience on many levels.

Firstly to bring awareness to a genre in Canadian history such as my house represents is an honour. This home is built with olden day care. It is solid and stately and has a barn that ignites the imagination. Helping foster the imagination of the viewing audiences is wonderful feeling.

We live in such a beautiful area, rich with wildflowers, growing crops and wildlife. To share this beauty is a great bonus of hosting the creative talents of film crew.

Almost every crew that has been here has left something to enrich this place...a new screen door, a great paint job, a back porch that they needed for a shot, a film platform in the barn that we use for other gatherings, etc. The film industry appreciates the hospitality of the hosting family and is always so careful at restoring the location in a meticulous manner.

I would highly recommend that we do everything we can to encourage the film industry to our area. The revenue to the area is always appreciated and people love to be a part of the excitement generated by the creative talent involved. 
- Janet Robertson 
  Pickering resident

How to List your Property for Film Productions

Ontario Creates (formerly the Ontario Media Development Corporation, or OMDC), is an office established by the Province of Ontario, to support all aspects of the film industry across Ontario.

This provincial office hosts a web portal where you can register your home/property/building for potential use by film productions. Called the Ontario Film Commission, Ontario Locations Library, it features over 400,000 digital images of locations, and is used by film and TV producers to scout potential filming sites for upcoming productions in Ontario.