For Toronto film lovers, the most wonderful time of the year is finally here — TIFF time.
The 44th annual Toronto International Film Festival has officially descended on the city, bringing moving, influential, and star power-packed films and the biggest names in the industry to the city for the next ten days.
With TIFF 2019 now underway, we’ve put together your official guide so you know exactly where to be, who and what to see, and what to do.
Over the next ten days, Toronto will be hosting some of Hollywood’s most famous faces right here in the city. And, if you’re lucky enough, you may even spot a few of these A-list celebrities wandering around town.
Here are some of the biggest stars to keep an eye out for:
- Christian Bale
- Antonio Banderas
- Jessica Biel
- Javier Bardem
- Willem Dafoe
- Nicholas Cage
- Priyanka Chopra Jonas
- Toni Collette
- Daniel Craig
- Russel Crowe
- Matt Damon
- Adam Driver
- Ansel Elgort
- Chris Evans
- Isla Fisher
- Jamie Foxx
- Jon Hamm
- Tom Hanks
- Anthony Hopkins
- Michael B. Jordan
- Nicole Kidman
- Shia LaBeouf
- Brie Larson
- Jamie Lee Curtis
- Jennifer Lopez
- Edward Norton
- Joaquin Phoenix
- Rosamund Pike
- Natalie Portman
- Danie Radcliffe
- Eddie Redmayne
- Adam Sandler
- Susan Sarandon
- Jason Segel
- Bruce Springsteen
- Kristen Stewart
- Meryl Streep
- Shailene Woodley
- Renée Zellweger
You can find a more detailed list here.
Some of the most talked about films coming to TIFF feature the likes of Joaquin Phoenix, Tom Hanks, Daniel Craig, Jennifer Lopez, Scarlett Johansson, and Robert Pattinson.
This year’s selection also includes 29 world premieres, six international premieres, 13 North American premieres, and eight Canadian premieres.
Some of this year’s buzziest movies to check out at TIFF include A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a movie that follows jaded journalist Matthew Rhys as he reluctantly accepts an Esquire assignment to profile the children’s television host Fred Rogers, played by Tom Hanks, and encounters a profoundly empathetic worldview that changes his life forever.
Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, sees the actor transform into the iconic comic-book villain in director Todd Phillips’ (War Dog, The Hangover) dark chronicle of a vulnerable man’s descent into violent madness.
Making its world premiere is Hustlers, a film inspired by a 2015 New York Magazine article that went viral. The film follows a savvy crew of former strippers (Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, Constance Wu, and Julia Stiles) who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.
Bruce Springsteen will also be hitting the big screen with a filmed, intimate live performance of his newly released Western Stars album co-directed by Thom Zimny and Springsteen himself.
You can learn more about the films here.
For the sixth year in a row, the excitement and fun of TIFF 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.
You can find full Festival Street programming here.
Where to Spot Celebs
Besides the films and street festivities, TIFF is also all about the stars. The celebrities in Toronto are a huge draw for the festival, as restaurants and local hot spots play host to Hollywood’s biggest stars.
And while not all the parties and events will be open to the public, there will be plenty of stargazing opportunities on and off the red carpet.
So between September 5 and 15, keep your eyes peeled, especially at these celeb top spots: Soho House, Bisha Hotel, Marbl, Byblos, Patria, Weslodge Saloon, RBC House, Spoke Club, RBC Red Carpet Gallery, Montecito, Hazelton Hotel, and the Thompson Hotel to name a few.
You can find a full list of TIFF hotspots here.
With all the red carpets, cocktail dresses, and flowing bubbly, TIFF is just as much about the parties as it is the films.
Parties of all sizes will take place at venues throughout the city, including the ultra-exclusive Artists for Peace and Justice at the Windsor Arms Hotel.
This year, there are a number of confirmed parties happening and if you’re in and around these areas, keep your eyes peeled for some star sightings. Here are some of the biggest parties going down.
- Mongrel House
- RBC House
- eOne Best of the Fest
- The Nordstrom Supper Suite
- Producers Ball
- Artists for Peace and Justice
- The IMDb Dinner Party at Toronto
A full list of parties can be found here.
4 am Last Call
For those who aren’t movie-buffs, TIFF might not mean all that much. But to all of us, film-lovers or not, it does mean at least one thing: 4 am last-call.
So whether you’re out on the town trying to track down Gael García Berna or Shailene Woodley in all of their glory, or maybe two o’clock has always just felt a little on the early side to you, these are the bars given the green light by the AGCO for 4 am last-call this month.
Currently, there are eight restaurants and bars that will be catering to the later crowds. You can find the full list here.
TIFF Drink Specials
Whether you’re looking to wind down in the elevated lobby bar of the Shangri-La hotel, or the more laid-back atmosphere of Portland and Adelaide’s Petty Cash, there’s a spot for you and a special drink for your taste during TIFF.
Prices range from $600 cocktails to $1 beers, so we mean it when we say there’s something for everyone.
Some of the spots serving TIFF-inspired drinks include Thompson Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, and Hotel X.
You can find a full list of participating spots here.
Road Closures and TTC Diversions
Easily the least glamorous part of TIFF is the road closures and TTC diversions that come with it.
The annual festival will be taking place at various locations throughout the downtown core and as a result, there will be a number of road closures to prepare for.
This includes a complete road closure during Festival Street on King Street West from Peter Street to University Avenue, which runs from September 5 through 8, from 10 am until midnight each day.
There will also be TTC diversions throughout the festival to prepare for. You can find them here.