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Your Guide to the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF, TIFF, TIFF. You turn our typically laid back city into celebrity mobbing, pop culture chaos. And we love every moment of it. This might be the only time of year where it feels like the entire entertainment world sets its gaze on Toronto. For ten straight days, we get the Hollywood treatment — cameras everywhere, your favourite movie stars hopping out of black SUVs — all for what many critics recognize as one of the most important film festivals across the globe. 

But with hundreds of movies and dozens of public and private events, What’s a local to do to keep up with all the hoopla? We got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know to get around TIFF 2019. 

Get the dates right When does TIFF start?

Can’t go if you don’t know when everything kicks off. TIFF 2019 starts on September 5th and runs ten days to September 15th. 

What’s playing at TIFF?    

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – photo via Tiff.net

There’s going to be a lot of movies to choose from. A heck of a lot. If you visit the TIFF Festival website, they list out all the films that will debut during the festival. Take your time and go through the list. Maybe do a bit of research about which films people are talking about. The important thing here is to write down which films you’re actually going to see. You’ll need to get your tickets early for the popular ones. They tend to sell out fairly quickly. 

How do you buy tickets for TIFF?

Princess of Wales Theatre – photo via Tiff.net

Ticket sales for TIFF 2019 go on sale September 2nd at 10:00 a.m. Daytime tickets will cost you between $19-$26. Evening and night tickets will run you $29-$36 with premium tickets coming in at about $60. You can buy tickets to individual shows or purchase packages. If this is your first time at TIFF, individual tickets are probably the way to go. Packages take a bit more thought. They have options for daytime films only, premium packages with the six hottest films, and even a package for films showing between the 11th and 15th. You can buy tickets online once September 2nd rolls around. 

Where’s the best place to stay?

Broadview Hotel, photo via BlogTo.com

Depending on your commute, it might not be a bad idea to stay close to the action. A night or two in downtown Toronto will add to your TIFF experience. If you do plan on staying, here are some hotels that are in good proximity to the events. Who knows, you might even run into a couple celebrities. 

Ritz Carlton 

Shangri-La Toronto 

Four Seasons Hotel 

Hotel X 

Delta Toronto 

Broadview Hotel

Hazelton Hotel  

The Drake Hotel 

Where are the best places to eat and drink during TIFF?

Ritz Bar, photo via BlogTo

OK, this list can get a bit extensive. There’s no shortage of great places to eat and drink in Toronto. We’ll give you a few that really do a good job creating a unique vibe, but this is really up to your tastes. 

Bisha Hotel, Thompson Hotel, Hotel X, Lavelle, and the Broadview Hotel all have rooftop views. 

If you want to possibly glimpse some celebrities, the Ritz Bar is a smart choice. It’s close to Roy Thompson Hall so the stars usually make their way over after a screening. 

If you’re trying to get a little bit away from the fray, try venturing to the Queen West neighbourhood, Yorkville, or Kensington Market. 

That about does it. TIFF brings an excitement to the city that’s not felt any other time of year. It’s worth it just to take a stroll down Festival Street for the first few days, even if you don’t watch any films. With that, we wish you good luck and Happy TIFF!  

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2 Comments

  1. Elaini Pie says

    I have been going to TIFF for a few years. In order to get tickets I made an account wth TIFF. You do not have to be a member to have an account and you can get notifications etc. I usually always get last minute tickets and sometime have got two for the price of one groupon tickets as well although last year I did not see groupon deals. I usually pick one theatre that I like and select movies that I play there. To make interesting I don’t look up what the movie is about before going.I have never been disappointed so far. I usually arrange to pick up the tickets at the box office. After the movies I have been able to ask questions to the director a couple of times which makes the experience even better.

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