Like us, if you fancy a good celebrity spotting moment, you’re just itching to know where all the A-listers are going to be during TIFF. Lucky for you, we took all the work out of it. We’ve put together the list of the hottest restaurants, venues, clubs, lounges, hotels, theatres and more — where you can definitely expect to see all your favourite celebrities. Oh, and this will be a record year for the number of A-listers in town, so it will be a doozy! You just might spot the likes of Nick Jonas, Natalie Portman, Leonardo DiCaprio, or even THE Anna Wintour strutting the streets of Toronto, or better yet, in the same room… Just remember to be cool, calm and collected and you’ll be just fine.
But don’t let us keep you waiting any longer. Let’s dive right in. Here’s the list of only the BEST vibes, that TIFF has to offer for the 44th Toronto International Film Festival.
The Ultimate List of TIFF Celebrity Spotting Hotspots:
Of course, the places where without a doubt you will not miss them… are these TIFF epicentres.
Bell TIFF Lightbox | September 5-15
Right in the centre of it all. 350 King St W.
TIFF Street Festival | September 5-15
On King Street from Peter Street to University Avenue, for FREE performances, brand activations, pop-ups, screenings and more.
RBC Red-Carpet Gallery | September 5-15
At the David Pecaut Square, in the centre of it all. Here is where all the stars will strut their stuff for the camera for the Gala Presentation Film Screenings. Book your spot to secure a space at rbctiff.com.
Although not an official TIFF location like the ones above, it’s definitely a celeb favourite. Here there have been sightings of the likes of Lady Gaga, Drake, Samuel Jackson and so many more. You’re bound to see celebrities, including many A-listers and more just roaming the streets or even dining at the table next to you. If traveling there we suggest using a ride-share, cab or transit into Bay Station. Otherwise good luck with traffic, and the scarce parking availability, especially considering it will be the home to Toronto Fashion Week (TFW) from September 3-5th too.
Film Screening Theatres:
Here’s a list of all the theatres across the downtown core that will be showing the extensive TIFF film list this year. Whether you’re expecting to watch the film, or simply want to see your favourite star darting in the front of the theatre, or darting out through the back door upon exit… it’s safe to say they are great celeb sighting spots.
Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre
189 Yonge St
Princess of Wales Theatre
300 King St W.
Roy Thomson Hall
60 Simcoe St.
43 Gerrard St E.
259 Richmond St W.
Festival Hubs, Houses and Studios:
Obviously where there’s celebrities, there is media, but not just local media. TIFF attracts the top media brands of the world. Many of them also set up shop at key venues with portrait studios, etc. so if you stick around them you are likely to see them running through their press junkets. Some of them even stop for fan photos. Some other hotspots are also where some of the film companies and sponsors set up shop for the festival to host talks, events, gifting lounges, parties and more.
NKPR’s IT House x Producers Ball and Rolling Stone Studio | September 5 – 8
Hosted at the Purman Building on Adelaide Street West – a historical 7,000 square foot loft-style space in the heart of film festival activities and just steps away from the Bell Lightbox. Past visitors have included Mila Kunis, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Dev Patel, Natalie Portman, Elizabeth Olsen, Donald Glover, Jared Leto, Adrien Brody, Daniel Radcliffe and many more. The IT House will be hosting the NKPR Gifting Lounge, new ShopNK pop-up, and the Producers Ball Gala.
Mongrel House | September 5-8, 10:00pm to 1:00am
Mongrel Media’s 5th Annual Mongrel House at TIFF is a multi-day celebration honouring nine of their films premiering at TIFF and 25 years of curating some of the most innovative and distinctive films of our times. Hosted at the historic Campbell House Museum in downtown Toronto, the four-day house, will end with a silver anniversary celebration to honour the best of local and global cinema at the festival.
Nordstrom Supper Suite and Collider Media Studio, at MARBL Restaurant | September 6-8
Hollywood event agency A-List Communications will bring its exclusive Supper Suite to Toronto (who produced the House of Aurora last year), in partnership with leading fashion retailer Nordstrom Canada as the title sponsor. The Nordstrom Supper Suite VIP pop-up will take over the new Toronto King West hotspot MARBL Restaurant at 455 King St. W during the opening weekend of the 2019 film festival. As the premiere red-carpet hospitality destination that celebrates top films and Hollywood A-listers, the Nordstrom Supper Suite will host a wide variety of exclusive events and engaging experiences. These will include a combination of Ciroc Vodka cocktail parties, dinners, industry-networking events, press junkets and a media studio, central to festival headquarters and Roy Thomson Hall. In addition to the pre- and post-premiere dinners and events, the Nordstrom Supper Suite will host the Collider Media Studio during the day. Here, top filmmakers and actors will stop in during their press circuits to conduct interviews for exclusive content. In addition to the title sponsorship, at the Nordstrom Supper Suite, Nordstrom will offer services to make it easy for TIFF attendees including: 24-Hour Express Services, Complimentary Personal Styling services and Delivery within Downtown Toronto, and Beauty Styling as well. As per extending the amazing Nordstrom service, including their “Nordstrom to You” service, which will bring their styling and tailoring experts to your hotel, home or office to personally help you with all your style needs. Wait, there’s more… their new sponsor partner Marriott Bonvoy joins the Nordstrom Supper Suite this year. Marriott International’s new travel rewards program will highlight their notable luxury brands throughout the weekend’s events, including The St. Regis Toronto and The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. Featuring special touch moments from The St. Regis Toronto, including a 13-layer chocolate King’s Cake from the hotel’s 31st floor restaurant, LOUIX LOUIS, as well as showcasing the brand’s iconic champagne sabering ritual to kick off each red carpet. Last, but not least, Diageo Canada returns as the official spirit sponsor and will be showcasing cocktails featuring brands from their luxury portfolio, including Ciroc Vodka, Tanqueray™ No. TEN Gin, Johnnie Walker Black Label, Bulleit Bourbon and Don Julio Tequila.
RBC House | September 5-15
The TIFF Hotspot, located right in the middle of all the action at 11 Duncan St, is the place to be for star-studded film parties and amazing music performances. This year, just steps away from the red carpet, RBC House will be hosting eight private film parties and two music events, offering guests VIP access to some of the top celebrities and creators! Last year, RBC House hosted a number of film parties that saw some big names such as Matthew McConaughey, Ashley Benson, Cara Delevingne, Elle Fanning, Elisabeth Moss and Salma Hayek, to name a few.
LA Times Media Studio, at Baro | Dates TBC
The LA Times will be posting up again this year at Baro to conduct interviews with celebrities during the festival. Last year, visitors to Baro included Natalie Portman and Selma Hayek.
Variety Studio and Lounge (sponsored by AT&T), at Le Germain Hotel on Mercer | Date TBC
Returning to the Toronto International Film Festival, Variety is posting up shop this year at the boutique Le Germain Hotel.
The Hollywood Reporter Studio, at St Regis Hotel Toronto | September 5-9
The St. Regis Toronto is the official host and partner for this year’s Hollywood Reporter TIFF Studio (formerly at Brassaii for several years) – although Hollywood Reporter Studio is not accessible to the public (it is where the stars get their portrait photos taken and do their interviews), the hotel will have a portrait studio pop-up activation in the hotel lobby for the public where you can get your photo taken by professional portrait photographers on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter.
Moet & Chandon Champagne Lounge, at The Astor Lounge inside the St. Regis Hotel Toronto | September 5-15
The Astor Lounge will be transformed into the Moët & Chandon x St. Regis Champagne Lounge. We have partnered with Moët & Chandon as they celebrate their 150th Anniversary of Moët Impérial and The St. Regis Toronto’s first ever TIFF. We will have LIVE jazz musicians performing, a custom champagne menu with various Moët & Chandon and Dom Perignon champagne by the glass and by the bottle, signature champagne cocktails, and of course our famed champagne sabering ritual at 6:00pm daily where we saber a bottle of champagne.
Deadline Studio, sponsored by Hyundai, at the Calii Love on King Street
Deadline.com is always the first to break up-to-the-minute entertainment, Hollywood and media news, with an unfiltered, no-holds-barred analysis of events. They have taken over the Calii Love coffee shop on King Street, just steps away from the Festival. Keeping celebs caffeinated throughout TIFF opening weekend was Barista Brian, renowned Canadian latte artist who specializes in personalized latte art caricatures. He has been at Calii Love during TIFF for three years now, impressing the stars with lattes featuring their famous face in the foam.
Soho House Toronto
As usual, the Soho House is always home to a number of big TIFF parties with very tight guest lists. Even members don’t get invited, unless they are on the guest list for the particular event.
The Spoke Club | September 5-8, 10pm-4am (Invite-only)
A members only hotspot that is known to be a celebrity safe haven. During the festival The Spot Club will be hosting Late Night at The Spoke Club from 10pm to 4am every night– yup that’s right, 4am last call.
Bask-It-Style Gifting Lounge at The Thompson Hotel
By invite and appointment only, open to media and celebrities alike to get glammed up for the TIFF red carpets, interviews, events and parties.
EGPR’s 10th Annual Essentials Lounge
Hosted by Esther Garnick, founder of EGPR, at The Richmond (477 Richmond St. W) the one-day event welcomes invited media to be pampered by leading lifestyle brands in preparation of long working hours and demanding deadlines.
The Salon at Stylist Box | August 28-September 15
Canada’s exclusive fashion showroom, Stylist Box returns with their seventh annual celebrity styling and gifting lounge, NIUCOCO presents The Salon at Stylist Box (formerly The Stylist Suite). This year, the by-invitation-only suite will take place at the showroom’s headquarters in Toronto’s trendy Trinity-Bellwoods area with private celebrity appointments taking place from Wednesday, August 28 until Sunday, September 15, 2019.
Toronto Life, Hello! Canada, FASHION & FLARE Style Lounge | September 6-8
The first ever annual style lounge by Toronto Life, Hello! Canada and Fashion & Flare. Spot a few celebrities while enjoying touch-ups and samplings by Clarins, CND Shellac, Youtheory and Hot Tools.
Luckily Toronto has quite the number of luxury hotels across the city. So there is a variety for celebrities to choose from. Some decide to stay a little bit outside of the TIFF hub, like the Four Seasons in Yorkville. While others like to stay close by like The Ritz-Carlton, which is one of the most iconic TIFF destinations in the city, or something a little more boutique like the Bisha Hotel. Overall, these are all great celeb spotting spots, where even the paparazzi camp outside. Here’s an insider tip: hang out near the back exits, parking garages, etc. for a better chance of catching them on their arrivals or exits, as they rarely do so through the front doors.
The Ritz-Carlton | 181 Wellington St W.
The Ritz-Carlton is definitely one of the larger celebrity hubs during TIFF. From the lobby bars, club lounge (especially now that it’s been upgraded), to the parties, and even just as hotel guests, there are always countless stars hanging around. This year they are once again hosting their annual TIFF opening night celebrations in the Lobby and DEQ Terrace and Lounge, which will go all night long, with Champagne and Caviar, TIFF themed cocktails and DJs on the patio. At TOCA (their main restaurant), you can indulge in a decadent array of seafood with an exclusive pop-up Seafood Bar, featuring market fresh and raw favourites from Canadian waters, or take the time to nourish your soul with the Film Festival Chef’s Tasting Menu and TOCA’s Saturday and Sunday Brunch Buffets. If you’re around over the weekend, or better yet have a hangover, DEQ has an amazing Brunch menu that you can even enjoy out on the back patio. We highly recommend it! 😉
Bisha Hotel | 80 Blue Jays Way
Located in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district, the glamourous Bisha Hotel welcomes
some of the world’s trendiest guests on the regular. Between luxe velvet walls of the hotel
lobby, the gorgeous green onyx marble top bar inside Mister C and the 43rd floor private event
space, celebs will be sure to flock to one of the sleekest hotspots in Toronto.
Fairmont Royal York | 100 Front St W.
Located just outside the TIFF area, the Fairmont Royal York is definitely always one of the core TIFF hubs. Especially since their major renovation, there’s no doubt that this hotel will be spewing with celebs. Whether you’re taking in the gorgeous views of the clocktower, or people watching in the lobby, you’re bound to see them in and around the hotel for sure. Especially considering it will be hosting the TIFF Tribute Gala. Stay tuned for updates along the way. 😉
Four Seasons | 60 Yorkville Ave.
The Four Seasons is always a known destination for many celebrities traveling to the city. With a bar by international restaurateur, Chef Daniel Boulud it’s quite the star-studded dinner and cocktails hotspot in the city. Every year the Four Seasons rolls out the red carpet for many celebrity guests. This year, the word on the street is that along with the Halo PR festival kick-off party, the Four Seasons Toronto Hotel will also be home to the prestigious HFPA/Variety.
St. Regis Hotel | 325 Bay St.
Formerly the Trump Hotel and then later the Adelaide Hotel, it is now renovated into the very first St. Regis Hotel in Canada. The St. Regis Hotel Toronto has become quite the popular destination for A-listers, film crews, and star seekers alike. The word on the street is that there are more A-listers staying at the St. Regis during TIFF this year than ever before seen even at The Ritz in prior years.
To celebrate TIFF, The St Regis Toronto hotel has created a pop-up champagne lounge in collaboration with Moet & Chandon, located in the stunning new lobby bar, the Astor Bar & Lounge. The St. Regis will also be home to the Hollywood Reporter studio which will be receiving numerous celebrities during their film press circuits.
Shangri-La Hotel | 188 University Ave.
As a TIFF Hospitality Partner, and one of the city’s Festival hot spots, Shangri-La Hotel is abuzz during this exciting time of year. Beyond its five-star service, guests and patrons gather to experience daily live music while surrounded by couture fashion and art, right in the heart of the festival. Guests can sip like a star at Toronto’s trendiest social spot.
Windsor Arms Hotel | 18 St Thomas St
Home to this year’s Artists for Peace and Justice 2019 Festival Gala, the Windsor Arms is a known destination for celebrities visiting Toronto.
InterContinental | 220 Bloor Street West
The InterContinental is a known hotspot for Media Studios for some of Toronto’s top media brands where celebrities and their press teams flow through during their press circuits.
Le Germain Hotel on Mercer | 30 Mercer St.
A known celebrity favourite.
Popular Event Venues & Restaurants
Arcane | 461 King St W
Formerly Brassaii, but now taken over by Liberty Entertainment Group. Always a known hotspot for TIFF parties and events. Although not housing any studios this year, there are definitely some TIFF parties being hosted here so keep an eye out.
a toi, inside Coffee Oysters Champagne
Without a doubt, this new Toronto hotspot with a hidden entrance within the Coffee Oysters Champagne cafe/champagne bar will undoubtedly be hosting some parties this year, or simply be gushing with celebs due to it’s “exclusive factor”, and no cellphones policy.
Belfast Love | 548 King St W
Always a hotspot for various TIFF premiere afterparties. Specific events to be confirmed.
MAV Nightclub | 115 Bathurst St.
A popular TIFF party destination.
Regulars Bar |
Known to host celebrities on their visits to Toronto, from Snoop Dog, to NBA players, Drake, and many more. There’s no doubt in our mind this place will be a key TIFF nightlife destination — including their new “Members Only” area on the second floor.
Petty Cash | 487 Adelaide St W
Known to be a Shawn Mendes favourite, there will definitely be some celebrity appearances throughout the festival. Keep those eyes peeled ladies!
Pick 6 Sportsbar | 33 Yonge St
Drake’s very own, will definitely be hosting some parties, if not some of his own. With his own produced film premiering this place and an unknown location, we’re skeptical that this will be it.
A known TIFF afterparty hotspot.
Rooftop at Baro |
As one of Toronto’s newest rooftop hotspot destinations, we don’t doubt that there will b several A-listers flowing through.
Chotto Matte | 161 Bay St
One of Toronto’s newest additions, London’s very own Chotto Matte featuring an incredible menu and extravagant vibe will definitely be a hotspot during the festival season, both for parties and dining amongst the stars.
Death & Taxes | 1154 Queen St W
A known TIFF afterparty hotspot.
Patria | 478 King St W
Last year Patria hosted the likes of Ryan Gosling, and even Justin Trudeau, amongst many others, so there will definitely be a number of parties to be hosted here.
Sofia | 99 Yorkville Ave
This stunning newer addition to the Bloor-Yorkville restaurant lineup will definitely be buzzing with stars. Also participating in the Yorkville Murals block party, and hosting Jennifer Lopez for the premiere dinner of her movie, it will definitely be somewhere you will want to be.
Walrus Pub | 187 Bay St
A known TIFF afterparty hotspot.
Weslodge Saloon | 480 King St W
The big yellow doors on King Street West mark the spot where some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Richard Gere, Jason Isaacs, Ben Mendelsohn and Gary Oldman have walked through to dine and drink.
KOST | 80 Blue Jays Way 44th Floor
The rooftop restaurant has a panoramic view of Toronto and a fantastic openair patio that has become a popular destination for celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Geena Davis and Martin Short. It is also known as one of Toronto’s most Instagrammable spots.
La Banane | 227 Ossington Ave
A known TIFF afterparty hotspot.
Mira | 420A Wellington St W
A known TIFF afterparty hotspot.
Montecito | 299 Adelaide St W
A known TIFF afterparty hotspot.
Assembly Chef’s Hall | 111 Richmond St W
Located just steps away from the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Assembly Chef’s Hall is a post-screening hotspot and culinary staple in the downtown core. Spanning 18,000-square feet, the hall is home to 16 unique food spots, each owned and operated by the best chefs in Toronto. Here you’ll find some of the hottest pre and post-screening parties, along with some delicious dishes.
80 Blue Jays Way
Located on the second floor of the Bisha Hotel, Michelin-Star Chef Akira Back and his buzz worthy menu offers guests a selection of delicious hot and cold plates. There is a private dining room and cool décor designed by the award-winning Studio Munge. It’s definitely no surprise that the space exceeds the celebrity standard.
Other Restaurants Celebrities Dine At
Much like us, they got to eat. There are some hotspots you can probably even catch them sitting at the table next to you.
Sotto Sotto | 20 Avenue Rd
Tratoria Nervosa | 75 Yorkville Ave
Baro | 485 King St W
Louix Louis, inside the St Regis Hotel | 325 Bay St
Azure Restaurant & Bar at the InterContinental Toronto Centre | 225 Front St W
Don Alfonso | 19 Toronto St
El Catrin | 18 Tank House Lane
Madrina | 2 Trinity St
Miku | 10 Bay St # 105
Shook | 77 Portland St.
Est | 729 Queen St E
One Eighty Restaurant | 55 Bloor St W, 51st Floor
Alo | 163 Spadina Ave
Alobar Yorkville | 62 Cumberland St
Pure Spirits | 17 Tank House Lane
TOCA, inside The Ritz-Carlton | 181 Wellington St W
Sash Restaurant | 1133 Yonge St
STK Toronto | 153 Yorkville Ave
Byblos Downtown | 11 Duncan St
Blueblood Steakhouse, inside Casaloma | 1 Austin Terrace
Have any tips, suggestions or photos you would like to share? Either email them to us at email@example.com, or slip into our DMs at @Viewthevibe on Instagram or Twitter. Want the inside scoop? Keep your eye on our Editorial Director, Steven Branco’s Twitter feed @mrstevenbranco for it. If you catch any of them or have any snaps to share, tag us and use #TorontoVIBE, slide into our DMs, or tweet us, for a chance to be featured in the recaps.
Contributing Writer: Revathy Rajan
Editor & Editorial Director: Steven Branco