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The star-spotting guide to TIFF 2014

Alexandra Davies | posted Thursday, Sep 4th, 2014

As one of the most important and well-respected film festivals in the world begins, stars from all over are making their way to Canada’s biggest city for the Toronto International Film Festival. Showcasing 366 films over ten event-packed days, odds are one of your favourite actors/actresses will be gracing T.O. to support their films, dine, party, and enjoy everything the city has to offer.

Heavy-hitters such as Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Denzel Washington, Anna Kendrick, Jon Stewart, Benedict Cumberbatch, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, John Travolta, Kristen Wiig, Adam Sandler, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Murray, Keira Knightley, and Morgan Freeman will be strutting down the red carpet this year— but they will also be out and about on the town. For those who want to skip the films and get right down to the business of celeb-spotting, we have curated the top places you will likely see your favourite A-lister.

The airport:
Well, the stars need to get here somehow, and it’s usually by plane. If the hustle and bustle of peeking through the paparazzi and screaming fans only to see half of Channing Tatum’s glorious jawline sounds like a waste of time, try the airport! Stake out the terminals that have arriving planes from Air Canada or U.S carriers.

Hotels:
Basically, if you can think of a posh hotel in Toronto’s downtown core, there’s a good chance a star will be staying there. The Ritz-CarltonShangri-LaSoHo MetropolitanInterContinental YorkvilleHotel Le GermainTrumpFour Seasons,Windsor ArmsPark HyattThe Drake, and the Hazelton Hotel are some key players in the hotel game that will attract A-listers. Either you can try to score a room in one of these hotels, or just “casually” walk by each multiple times a day— alternately, check out the hotel’s restaurant and lobby bar for an inside look.

Theatres:
This year TIFF is screening films in 11 different theatres around Toronto. Do your homework to find out when and where your favourite stars are scheduled to be walking the red carpet and make sure to arrive extra early to see them hop out of their ride. If you’re in the market to see the high-profile celebs, head to the galas. Some major venues to consider areRoy Thomson Hall, the Visa Screening Room (Elgin/Winter Garden), and the Princess of Wales. There’s also the venue at the heart of the festival, the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Shopping:
Oh, they will be shopping. It’s a safe bet to assume stars will be hitting up luxury stores, but it’s really what they are in the market for. Yorkville is home to high-end brands and will most likely be the stomping grounds for celebs these next few days. Try out Holt Renfrew, peek into high-end label stores on Bloor, and sift through trendy boutiques along Queen West.

Restaurants and bars:
Celebs will be flooding restaurants across the city, so be sure to keep a look-out when turning corners. Some notable restaurants and bars to swing by during the festival are Hudson KitchenLa SocietéThe DrakeThe Drake One Fifty,Bar BucaBrassaiiColetteThe HoxtonCafé Boulud and BarSoho House (this one is members-only, but you might see stars if you hang out nearby!), One at the Hazelton Hotel, the rooftop bar at the Thompson Hotel, and of course the Starbucks in Yorkville will surely be swarming with caffeine-hungry stars.

We want to hear about your TIFF14 star-spotting stories! Tell us about it in the comments, tweet at us@CitylineCA, or email your story and/or photos to submissions@cityline.ca!

TIFF day 1: Toronto’s film festival to kick off with opening night galas

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Sep 4th, 2014

The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival officially kicks off on Thursday, with Hollywood stars set to stroll the city’s red carpet.

Film icon Al Pacino is expected to attend the North American premiere of his new film, The Humbling, at Elgin Theatre. The film starts at 6 p.m, with the red carpet to be streamed live on this website at 5 p.m.

Pacino also has another film, Manglehorn, which is set to debut at the Winter Garden Theatre on Saturday.

Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. will also be on the red carpet for the world premiere of his film, The Judge, which starts at Roy Thomson Hall at 8 p.m. It’s the official opening night film at TIFF.

The Judge also stars Robert Duvall and Vera Farmiga, who are also expected to attend the gala. Watch the red carpet event on this website starting at 7 p.m.

The action got an early start on Wednesday night with Pacino, who was at the TIFF Bell Lightbox for a Q&A session, hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos. The on-stage conversation was part of a $1,500-a-ticket fundraising gala for the festival.

Click here for full coverage of TIFF 2014.

Some of actresses who will grace the 11-day film bash include: Reese Witherspoon, Keira Knightley, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Winslet, Kristen Wiig, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Octavia Spencer, Julianne Moore, and Greta Gerwig.

The actors include: Benedict Cumberbatch, Denzel Washington, Michael Douglas, John Travolta, Mark Ruffalo, Jason Bateman, Steve Carell, Bill Murray, Channing Tatum, Christopher Plummer, Chris Rock, Morgan Freeman, and Adam Sandler.

The festival is also attracting some major Canadian talent, including actor Colm Feore and Olympic gold medalist Tessa Virtue.

There are also a number of parties, including the after-party for The Judge, the Mongrel Media TIFF party and a bash featuring some of the stars from Bachelor in Paradise.

Meantime, a stretch of King Street West will be closed during TIFF, and streetcars will be on diversion in the area.

King Street, from Peter Street to University Avenue, will be closed from 10 a.m. on Thursday to 6 a.m. on Monday. King will also be partially closed in each direction between John and Duncan streets Sept. 8-11, and will reopen on Sept. 12.

The closure will turn the area into a pedestrian-friendly zone, so fans can get a little closer to the action.

Three-hundred films from 79 countries will be screened at the 39th annual festival, which runs until Sept. 14.

Some of the other TIFF galas include:

  • Black and White, starring Kevin Costner and Spencer
  • The Equalizer, starring Washington and Melissa Leo
  • Foxcatcher, starring Anthony Michael Hall, Tatum, and Sienna Miller
  • Haemoo, starring Kim Yoon-seok and Park Yoo-chun

Click here for a list of the gala presentations.

Click here for a list of all the films being shown at TIFF.

Click here for a schedule of the film screenings.

With files from Eva Fragiskatos

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