TIFF is shutting down King Street for its annual block party

Aug 22 2019, 7:50 am

For the sixth year in a row, the excitement and fun of the Toronto International Film Festival will pour out from the theatres and onto Festival Street.

Running from September 5 to 8, King Street West between Peter Street and University Avenue will transform into the festival’s massive block party that’s complete with activations, special performances, curb-side patios, and food trucks featuring mouthwatering cuisine from around the world.

The best part? You don’t have to be a celebrity to enjoy Festival Street, as it’s free and open to the public to enjoy.

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“This September, we invite everyone to join us on Festival Street where we take our passion for film onto the streets,” said Jennifer Barkin, Lead Programmer for Special Events, and Festival Street.

“Festival Street is really a place to meet and connect with other festival-goers and an opportunity for everyone in the city to take in the amazing energy over opening weekend.”

Festival Street

TIFF Festival Street Map 2019

Here’s what to look out for on Festival Street this year:

More festival films for free

TIFF has once again partnered with the TTC to give Torontonians more access to Festival films. Brand ambassadors will hit King Street on the morning of September 5 to hand out thousands of vouchers for festival films and year-round screenings at TIFF Bell Lightbox to passersby.

Additionally, TIFF is hosting a special free screening of a festival title at Roy Thompson Hall on September 8. This event is open to all TTC riders, simply show up with your TTC transfer or PRESTO card for entry.

OLG Dream Deck

Located on the rooftop of TIFF Bell Lightbox, the OLG Dream Deck will feature intimate conversations, as well as panels with key filmmakers and creators who are making waves in the industry right now.

Some of the notable guests who will be in attendance include director, writer, producer, and actor, Amy Jo Johnson, internationally renowned actor Gael García Bernal, composing trio Blitz//Berlin, Australian Dream director Daniel Gordon, Indigenous-rights activist Adam Goodes, and Endings, Beginnings filmmaker Drake Doremus and lead actor Shailene Woodley.

Tickets for the OLG Dream Deck are free. They can be redeemed as of August 31 for members, and September 2 for the public. Full details and tickets can be found here.

streetcar diversions


Musical performances 

Attendees can also listen to great music from Sam Drysdale, Kayla Diamond, Tomi Swick, Toronto ensemble Long Branch, and other up-and-coming talents on the Slaight Music Stage.

Food and drinks

Visitors are also welcome to grab a drink at one of the extended patios, sample delicious treats from an array of food trucks, and have fun with the many engaging partner activations. Also this year, Nespresso will be hosting a consumer Pop-Up Cafe at David Pecaut Square, where guests can enjoy a free cup of coffee and curated recipes.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5 to 15, 2019.

Ainsley SmithAinsley Smith

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