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Film and TV production returned to Cambridge last year in a big way

File photo of the Grand River in downtown Cambridge. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

After the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic slowed down film and television production in Cambridge in 2020, things began to bounce back in 2021.

Staff presented a report to city council on Tuesday night about filming in the area over the past two years as it has been stunted by the pandemic.

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In 2020, there were only 20 days of filming in the city with an estimated economic impact of $276,000, which came on the heels of a banner year in 2019, when there were 61 days of shooting with an estimated impact of $1,025,300 for the local economy.

The report said that Cambridge saw a record-setting 75 days of local filming despite things film permit issuances being paused from January to June, though a portion of that came from a Food Network show taping two seasons at a studio within the area.

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“Cambridge is such an incredible backdrop for so many film projects, with incredible views and a sense of community like no other,” Mayor Kathryn McGarry stated.

“With three unique cores areas and natural landscapes, Cambridge has a lot to offer the creative industry, and that adds to our overall economic wellbeing.”

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The first series to be filmed in the area last year was the Amazon prime show Jack Reacher, which debuted on the streaming service last month.

“Film projects bring investment into the city we may not see otherwise,” said James Goodram, director of economic development. “Industry professionals stay in our hotels, support our local businesses and promote our community to a global audience. As the creative sector grows across the province, we have an opportunity to use location filming as a catalyst for longer-term workforce development programs and employment in the arts.”

Jack Reacher joins a lengthy list of shows that have been filmed in the city in the past two years including The Handmaid’s Tale, Murdoch Mysteries, The Odd Squad and Hardy Boys.

It appears as though the city is off to a fast start again in 2022 as last week it announced that Hello Stranger, a new movie featuring Simu Liu, Jordana Brewster and Sam Worthington, would be filming in the city this week.

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A spokesperson for the city hinted that there are more projects to be announced in the coming days.

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