There are three steps to obtaining a film permit, outlined below. Please contact us as early in the planning process as possible and vet locations through the film office before committing. Permit applications are due at least 3 business days prior to the proposed filming date(s); applications for a road closure are due at least 10 business days in advance.
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, 480 KB) and draft notification letter (see below) to the Film Office at [email protected]. We recommend you review the notes about film shoot parking in Hamilton, below, before completing your application. Staff will review the permit application and contact you if there are any questions or changes required.
NEW: Productions must plan for health and safety considerations at each location, and follow the Safety Guidelines for the Film and Television Industry as well as the Ontario Section 21 Health and Safety Committee COVID-19 Guidance Document.
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.
NEW: Productions must use the Film Office’s new letter of notification template and submit the notification letter for review by staff prior to distribution.
Productions will be required to obtain neighbourhood consent if filming will be taking place outside of the hours of 7 am to 11 pm, in a neighbourhood that has had three of more instances of filming in a calendar year, or in areas deemed sensitive for other reasons (at the Film Office’s discretion).
NEW: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the process for canvassing residents has been updated to limit the physical interactions between film crews and residents as much as possible. Productions will no longer collect signatures door-to-door and instead will deliver a release form indicating their filming plans. Residents will be invited to call or email with any questions or objections. If the majority of residents do not object, the film permit will be issued. Productions must use the revised neighbourhood canvassing template below and contact the Film Office for a map of affected residents and businesses.
Notification templates are available here:
Step 3: Pay for an approved Film Permit
Staff will notify you when your permit has been approved.
NEW: The Hamilton Film Office has moved to a contactless permitting process. Permits and associated fees must be paid by credit card over the phone (905-546-4233). Staff will email a detailed invoice and receipt along with the approved permit.
Film Shoot Parking
- Production companies are encouraged to maximize parking in private lots before requesting street parking. Contact the Film Office if you need assistance sourcing off-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.
- To request permission to enter a municipal parking lot, please contact the Film Office with the street address and lot number (if known), number of stalls needed, and the dates and times being requested. Municipal lots must be restored to their original condition after filming, including clean-up of any garbage or debris.
Hamilton Film Office
Email [email protected]
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