TIFF 2018: The best places to spot the stars in Toronto

Aug 21 2018, 10:10 pm

Besides the films and street festivities, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is also all about the stars.

The celebrities in Toronto are a huge draw to the festival, as restaurants and local hot spots play hosts to Hollywood North.

And while not all the parties will be open to the public, there will be plenty of star gazing opportunities on and off the red carpet.

So between September 6 to the 16, keep your eyes peeled, especially at these celeb top spots.

The best places to spot the stars during TIFF 2018

Soho House

Known industry-wide to be the  most intriguing and highly coveted, the Grey Goose parties at Soho House always features some of the biggest stars in town. Over the past few years, Soho House hosted film premiere parties for major buzz-worthy films like: Theory of Everything, The Imitation Games, Room, Spotlight, Woman Walks Ahead, Before the Flood, Sicario, Molly’s Game and Manchester by the Sea. The parties have also seen the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Nicole Kidman, Leonardo Dicaprio, Dakota Fanning, Natalie Portman, Salma Hayek, Kate Winslet, Benedict Cumberbatch and Matt Damon to name a few.

Where: 192 Adelaide Street West

RBC House

After a successful first year, RBC House returns in the heart of all the action at 11 Duncan Street to serve as one of the festival’s top destinations for film junkets, concerts, premiere parties, celebrity sightings and speaker series. Last year, RBC House hosted nine star-studded film parties where celebrities like Claire Foy, Andrew Garfield, Maisie Williams, Elle Fanning, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz and Alessandro Nivolan were in attendance.

Where: 11 Duncan Street

Montecito Restaurant

Located behind the TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre at Reitman Square, Montecito attracts the who’s who of Hollywood every year, and this year should be no different. Last year, Montecito Restaurant hosted Hugo Boss’s yearly bash and I, Tonya featuring Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan and Allison Janney.

Where: 299 Adelaide Street West

Cactus Club Cafe

Cactus Club Cafe is a hot spot regularly, and during TIFF, it gets an extra dose of spice. The three-level restaurant and its rooftop deck, regularly host VIPs, sports stars and celebrities, and during TIFF it’s no different. Last year, Cactus played host to stars including Benedict Cumberbatch, Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon, Selma Blair, Nicholas Cage, Katherine Waterston, Don Johnson, Victoria’s Secret Angel Dev Windsor, Ron Perlman and more.

Where: 77 Adelaide Street West

Bisha Hotel/Mister C

In the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district, Bisha Hotel is set to welcome some of the world’s biggest starts. Between the lobby lounge’s luxe velvet walls, the euro chic Mister C lobby lounge and the gorgeous 43rd floor event space, celebs will flock to what has quickly become known as one of the sleekest destinations in Toronto. Stars spotted here in the past include: Julianne Moore, James and Dave Franco, Andrew Garfield, Octavia Spencer, Alison Brie, Andy Serkis, Paul Sheer, and Richard Jenkins.

Where: 80 Blue Jays Way

ONE Restaurant at The Hazelton Hotel

A post shared by The Hazelton Hotel (@hazeltonto) on

So Yorkville isn’t TIFF’s hub anymore, but it’s still a spot for some of the swankiest and most loved spots for the Hollywood elite. Whether its boozy brunch or wining and dining, ONE is still one spot not to miss during TIFF.

Where: 118 Yorkville Avenue


A post shared by Patria (@patriato) on

What: Tucked away from the King Street parties is Patria, which offers Spanish-inspired soul food for its celebrity guests. While it’s not in the midst of all the craziness, it still attracts Hollywood faves like Jake Gyllenhaal, Helen Miran, Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy.

Where: 478 King Street West

TOCA in the Ritz-Carlton

Being one of the most upscale hotels in the city, celebrities are known to hang out and stay at the Ritz-Carlton. And throughout TIFF, the hotel’s Italian restaurant TOCA should be host to some popular names this year.

Where: 181 Wellington Street West

Windsor Arms Hotel

A TIFF staple in Yorkville, the Windsor Arms is a hotel for Hollywood’s finest. This year, Windsor Arms is hosting the 10th anniversary Artist for Peace and Justice Gala on September 8. The sold-out event is co-chaired by Natasha Koifman and Suzanne Boyd and will be co-hosted by notables including Ben Stiller and Susan Sarandon. If you’re in the Yorkville neighbourhood, this is definitely a great place to try and spot some stars. 

Where: 18 St. Thomas Street

Thompson Hotel Toronto

From its stunning rooftop views to its poppin’ lobby bar, the Thompson Hotel gets a huge stamp of approval for TIFF events and parties. From celebrity DJ sets to limited edition TIFF cocktails, this is a place to be and be seen during the festivities this year.

Where: 550 Wellington Street West


A post shared by Buca (@bucatoronto) on

Back on King Street, in a laneway, Buca is a destination for Italian fare year round. And during the Toronto International Film Festival, this spot becomes a dining experience filled with a cast of A-listers. Of note, Buca had to close recently due to flooding, but is hoping to reopen the first week of September… just in time for TIFF.

Where: 604 King Street West

Drake One Fifty

A post shared by J.NGO (@jessica_ngo) on

Located steps away from Festival Street is Drake One Fifty, a hip, downtown oasis that serves up next-level food, drinks, and immersive art. Over the years, the popular Financial District watering hole has welcomed various celebrities during TIFF thanks to its proximity to the festival action. Have to wait to grab a table? Walk a few steps and you’ll find yourself at Drake Mini Bar, a pint-sized hangout serving wicked cocktails and drool-worthy bites.

Where: 150 York Street

Sotto Sotto

A post shared by CARIN (@carin_curator) on

Intimate upscale Italian eatery Sotto Sotto might be a hotspot for celebrity sightings year-round, however, it really comes alive during the annual film fest. Over the years Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Anniston, Susan Sarandon, Ewan McGregor, Johnny Depp, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman and Mia Wasikowska to name a few.

Where: 120 Avenue Rd.

See also
DH Toronto StaffDH Toronto Staff

+ Arts
+ Movies & TV