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The Toronto International Film Festival (September 9-19) rolls back into town this week, which means for 10 magical days you can put down that copy of Us Weekly and indulge in a little in-person celeb stalking er, spotting. And this year, thanks to the grand opening of TIFF’s new Bell Lightbox at King St. and John St., star sightings will no longer be reserved exclusively for posh Yorkville folk. That’s right people, Hollywood’s shimmering elite will be traveling south of Bloor this time so chances are that gruff looking guy in a baseball cap outside your local coffee shop isn’t a panhandler, it’s Jon Hamm. And the hottie by the bar? She doesn’t just look like Megan Fox, she is Megan Fox. Want to up your chances of bumping into a celeb this week? Here are your best bets for star-gazing while Hollywood is in town.
Pied A Terre
Hotels are prime celeb-spotting zones during film fest and this year you can expect plenty of sightings downtown with the Hyatt Regency (370 King St. W.) locking in the title of host hotel for the event. Located kiddy corner to the new festival headquarters, the intersection of King and John is sure to make for easy celeb watching all week.
The patio at Mark McEwan’s ONE Restaurant (116 Yorkville Ave.) in Yorkville is a favourite with stars looking to dine al fresco thanks to it’s plush seating, private atmosphere and top notch cuisine. For the best view, take a cue from the paparazzi and park yourself at the Starbucks across the street.
Festival headquarters may be moving south to King Street but Bloor is still king when it comes to shopping. Luxury boutiques like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and Prada will always attract celebs eager flex the ol’ Amex but don’t underestimate the allure of Canadian classics like Roots, Aritzia and Lululemon to visiting stars from south of the border.
Bistro 990 (990 Bay St.) is a classic choice for big dinner parties during TIFF but for something a little less formal and a lot more fun, Queen West’s uber swank Ultra Supper Club (314 Queen St. W.), with it’s mysterious hidden entrance, spectacular city views and glitzy party vibe, has become a fast celebrity hotspot.
Where to get cocktails and where to party on the next page ...
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With TIFF activities moving south to King Street, the area’s many stylish restaurants and lounges are preparing to show festival-goers a thing or two about stylish cocktails. Spice Route (499 King St. W.) is a sure bet for star sightings, especially on Thursday night when it will host this year’s opening cocktail bash.
When it comes to stylish parties in Toronto look to the skies because rooftops are where it’s at and the Thompson Hotel’s exclusive rooftop terrace (550 Wellington St. W.) is not only the hotspot du jour (that is if you’re lucky enough to have been granted a key), it’s also the location of this year’s Vanity Fair party, one of the most star-studded fetes of the festival.