There are five steps to the film permit process and the city encourages you to submit your film permit applications at least 3-5 business days prior to their proposed filming date(s) if you are not requesting a road closure and 10 business days if a road closure is part of your ask
Step 1: Register your Production
- Certificate Holder named as: City of Hamilton, Attn: Film Office, Creative Industries, Tourism and Culture Division, 28 James St. N., Hamilton, ON L8R 2K1
- City of Hamilton listed as additional insured
- Third party liability insurance – minimum $2,000,000 per occurrence and $4,000,000 aggregate
- Name of the production company must match the name listed on the Production Information Sheet
Step 2: Apply for a Film Permit
Submit a Film Permit Application (PDF, 426 KB) and draft notification letter (see below) to the Film Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. We recommend you review the notes about film shoot parking in Hamilton, below, before completing your application.
If filming will include a road closure, submit a temporary road closure application at least ten business days before the date of the closure.
If filming will include any special effects (e.g. pyrotechnics, fireworks, guns), you will need approval from the Hamilton Police Service and the Hamilton Fire Department. For more information and to download application forms, see: Special Effects and Dangerous Filming Activities
Notification must be provided to all affected residents, occupants, and businesses at least 5 days before filming. The notification letter must be approved by the Film Office prior to distribution and include the following:
- Production name, office address and phone number
- Location Manager’s name and phone number
- Phone number for the Hamilton Film Office (905-546-4233)
- Duration and location of filming including prep and wrap dates
- Parking footprint (including during prep and wrap)
- Road and lane closures and sidewalk usage
- Planned special effects
If filming will be taking place outside of the hours of 7 am to 11 pm, you will be required to obtain signatures from all affected residents and businesses.
Notification templates are available here:
Step 3: Pick up and pay for an approved Film Permit
Staff will review the permit application and contact you if there are any questions or changes required. If the permit application is approved, you’ll receive email confirmation including the permit/reference number and fee invoice.
There are two options for paying for and receiving your permit:
- Call the Film Office at 905-546-4233 to pay over the phone with a credit card. After your payment is processed, you will receive a copy of your film permit and receipt by email.
- Come in to the Visitor’s Centre (28 James Street North, First Floor) and provide staff with your reference number. Accepted methods of payment include cash, debit, and Visa or MasterCard. Cheques are also acceptable and should be made payable to the City of Hamilton.
Please note: The Visitor Centre is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 12 noon and 1 to 4 pm, excluding holidays. The Visitor Centre is closed from 12 noon to 1 pm for lunch.
Film Shoot Parking
- Production companies are encouraged to maximize parking in private lots before requesting street parking.
- We do not permit parking in No Stopping or No Parking zones.
- Production vehicles must not block: fire hydrants, bus stops, pedestrian crossovers, signalized intersections, driveways, accesses, egresses and ingresses, ramps, parking lot entrances, or accessible parking for persons with disabilities.
- Production vehicles must not park in fire routes or within 9 m of an intersecting street or impede any emergency response vehicle.
- Any exceptions must be approved by the property owner or be identified when applying for your permit.
- If you require parking within a Business Improvement Area, parking will be coordinated with the BIA, Hamilton Film Office, and Hamilton Municipal Parking System. Parking of base camp or technical trucks on main commercial streets is prohibited.
- Street occupancy, for parking, coning, etc., is available for $50 per lane/day per city block.
- Learn more about parking at on-street meters and pay-and-display spots
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