TIFF Tips: Festival Hot Spots
When people hear the words “movie premier”, usually the mental image is of a red carpet, flashing lights, and impossibly gorgeous people passing throngs of screaming fans. But one of TIFF’s greatest draws is that the party doesn’t stop once the credits roll. Celebrities from far and wide have come to love Toronto for its rich history, amazing eateries, and vibrant party scene. TIFF provides a Toronto with singular opportunity to shine, and here are a few hot spots likely to draw a crowd of this year’s hottest stars.
Festival Street – STAY TUNED FOR 2015 INFORMATION
Location: King Street from University Avenue to Peter Street
Details (From 2014): An energetic street festival featuring works of art across multiple disciplines, pop-up performances, a music stage, food trucks, relaxing seating, and more. Several art installations will be seen throughout the neighbourhood, live theatre performances presented by the Toronto Fringe, a massive Chess Board, The Board Game Concierge presented by Snakes & Lattes, and a HAL9000 Photo Booth promoting TIFF’s upcoming Stanley Kubrick exhibit will also add to the excitement. The full schedule of events can be viewed here, and the eclectic assortment of entertainment and participatory opportunities is sure to delight anyone that passes through.
The Drake Hotel
Venue Details: While not exactly in the festival centre, The Drake Hotel is known for hosting riotous opening night parties. The glam locale plays host to the city’s 24 hour party people, and will host you like the star you are.
Previously Spotted: Taylor Kitsch, Donald Sutherland
Thompson Hotel Rooftop Lounge
Venue Details: Nothing spells extravagance like gazing out over the city from an infinity pool. This rooftop lounge is the ultimate place to be seen, and will be the setting for a number of events throughout the festival.
Previously Spotted: Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender
We expect to spot: With the Whiplash premier party confirmed to be hosted here, we hope to see Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons
Nikki Beach @ the Spoke Club
Venue Details: Once again the beach comes to the city, setting up residence in The Spoke Club. The Spoke Club has established itself in Toronto as a quiet refuge for high profile members of Toronto’s creative community. On a backdrop of pristine white and beach lounging style, the city’s elite can sip champagne or take in brunch, while the fashion-forward can anticipate a show. Opening night will see the White Party, sure to be a stunning affair.
Previously Spotted: See our post-festival coverage of Nikki Beach 2013
Venue Details: This Toronto outpost of the popular London-based members only club has seen more than its fair share of star power. Since opening in 2012 it typically holds only the most prestigious and exclusive premier parties. The rest of the year it plays host to the city’s brightest creative types.
Previously Spotted: See our post-festival coverage of TIFF 2013
Venue Details: It’s difficult to predict exactly how hopping this new Jonathan Waxman venue will be, but our money is on “very”. Hollywood will fine the familiar in Waxman’s Califonia-style cuisine, dining in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District. The two-storey dining room, lounge and outdoor Adelaide Street-facing patio is located steps away from film festival headquarters at TIFF Bell Lightbox, so we assume many stars will end up there post-Q&A.
We expect to spot: Well, with TIFF celebrating all things Bill Murray we can only assume that the man himself will be there to enjoy some Ghostbusters nostalgia – and hopefully Ivan Reitman will be present to share in it.
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Venue Details: TIFF Bell Lightbox provides a year-round home for all of TIFF’s existing programmes as well as community and industry events. Throughout the year the Lightbox hosts the In Conversation series, bringing film-makers to Toronto for more than just September. Naturally the festival’s own heart will see more than a few special guests pass through its doors.
Previously Spotted: Any star that has ever had a premier at the Lightbox can’t help but go through the lobby. This may be your chance for a up-close encounter!
NKPR IT Lounge Portrait Studio
Venue Details: In its ninth year, the IT Lounge launched the Portrait Studio in 2012 with internationally renowned fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier. This year, the Portrait Studio returns in the opening days of the film festival (from September 4th to 9th) with Caitlin Cronenberg (yes, daughter of that Mr. Cronenberg) at the helm in partnership with W Magazine. W Magazine will feature Cronenberg’s portraits of some of the most highly anticipated film festival and IT Lounge attendees.
We expect to spot: Naomi Watts and Sir Ben Kingsley are just a few celebs confirmed to attend
Venue Details: The exclusive celebrity gifting lounge celebrates its 10th anniversary in style with luxury apparel, coveted accessories and the latest festival must-haves. With Brita, LUSH Cosmetics, SOREL Snowboots and Danier Leather as just a few of the confirmed brands, celebrities will be walking away with plenty of goodies!
Previously Spotted: Woody Harrelson, Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson (set to return for Big Game), Abigail Breslin, and Joshua Jackson
We must not forget the Liberty Entertainment Group family of venues. They are consistently jumping year round, and no less during TIFF:
Venue details: Located in Yorkville, the original heart of TIFF, this three level space offers a classy respite from the hectic goings-on of TIFF. Given how many celebrities still stay at the nearby Park Hyatt and Four Seasons while in Toronto, this venue boasts the best in people watching and star sighting.
Venue details: Located in the new heart of TIFF and offering authentic rustic Italian flare, expect many celebs and influencers to flock to Cibo for their post-premiere gatherings. The stylish environs and jumping nightlife make it a perfect post-film stop.
Venue details: Boasting a secluded patio oasis surrounded by cabanas, C Lounge is the host to many after parties and the Goodnight Gansevoort pop up nightclub. C Lounge provides a perfect VIP poolside experience during TIFF.
Wild Card: CHILL Ice House
Venue Details: Boasting an ice-sculpted and ever-changing interior, a frozen DJ booth and a distinct novely factor it’s highly likely that this new venue will draw a fancy and adventurous crowd.
We expect to spot: Well, we can’t really guess. It will be fun to see who is willing to brave the chill and set a new trend!
And finally no party is complete without tasty beverages to sip on while looking fabulous. As you may have noticed from billboards around the city, Grolsch is once again the official beer sponsor of TIFF. As a patron of the arts, Grolsch sponsors many annual film festival events. Grolsch is also the official sponsor of the free People’s Choice screening on the final night.
If beer is not your thing, then keep an eye out for bottlegreen Sparkling Pressés, available at some of the festival’s swankiest venues. SoHo House, the Artists for Peace and Justice gala, and the Toronto Life Most Stylish party are a a few bright spots that will have bottlegreen “bottle service”. Better still, it will be served straight at IT Lounge, or paired with Tequila Tromba to create the exclusive Toronto Sunset. If you can’t make it out to any of the parties, you can still party like a star at home with your own Toronto Sunset:
The Toronto Sunset
– Created by Robin Kaufman – Toronto Temperance Society
1oz bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial
1.5oz Tequila Tromba Blanco
0.5oz fresh lime juice
0.25oz fresh grapefruit juice
Recipe courtesy of NKPR