The Best Places in Toronto for Star-Gazing at TIFF
Published: August 31, 2022
They don’t call Toronto “Hollywood North” for nothing! Toronto is a city that’s all about putting on a show and no event does it better than the annual Toronto International Film Festival. In 2022, the city and the festival are once again ready to roll out the red carpet in style, raising your odds of rubbing shoulders with the stars.
If you’re visiting Toronto to take part in TIFF, we welcome you to our great city! UP Express makes it easy for out-of-town and international visitors to get to the centre of the festival action in just 25 minutes with frequent trains from Toronto Pearson Airport to UP Express Union Station in downtown Toronto, seven days a week.
TIFF 2022 Is Back To In-Person Celebrations
Whether you’re a film fanatic, a casual movie-lover, or just want to catch a glimpse of your on-screen crush, Toronto is ready to reel in the big names. Celebrating a return to pre-pandemic in-person film screenings and events, it’s never been easier to get access to one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world – no star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame required!
Held for 10 days in early September, this year’s edition of the festival runs September 8th through 18th. The best part? It’s all concentrated right on King Street West near the festival’s permanent year-round hub, TIFF Bell Lightbox, just a few blocks from UP Express Union Station. Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you covered with a guide on how to buy TIFF tickets and the best places to stay in Toronto during the festival. Not only can film lovers under age 25 save on TIFF tickets, post-secondary students get 40% off standard Adult fare on UP Express with PRESTO.
See The Stars At TIFF Screenings
Ready to do some stargazing? Guarantee yourself a chance to not just spot your favourite actor but hear what they have to say about their latest project by attending the festival itself. With single tickets available to the public for purchase for each and every screening, the best way to see Jennifer Lawrence talk about her latest film or watch Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell glide onto the stage, is to pick up a ticket to the first screening for any film.
No matter if you miss the red carpet, at premiere TIFF screenings, the cast and director typically come out on stage ahead of showtime and introduce the film. If you’re lucky, they’ll even return following the screening to answer some questions from the audience.
When attending premiere screenings, be sure to take a look at your seatmate. The film’s talent watch the film right in the theatre with the TIFF audience so you might just hear the cast laughing and cheering along with the rest of the crowd!
King Street West Is Festival Central
Get all the glitz and glamour you can handle as Toronto rolls out the red carpet – literally. Red carpet premieres at Roy Thomson Hall have designated fan zones where you can line up early and hope to snap some photos of the stars as they arrive at the premiere. With King Street West closed to traffic during the festival’s opening weekend, it’s also a great place to keep an eye out for celebs as they pull up to the historic Princess of Wales Theatre for their movie premieres. Remember with street access closed to vehicle traffic, the easiest way to make it to a screening or red carpet on time is by taking UP Express Union Station, less than a 15-minute walk from all the action. Plus, with complimentary Wi-Fi on board every UP Express train, you can upload all your snapshots of the stars to social media while riding in style.
Act Like A Movie Star
When in Toronto during TIFF, act like a movie star to find a movie star. Celebs are just like the rest of us when they aren’t on the red carpet, spending time eating, drinking, and sleeping at some of Toronto’s top hot spots in Yorkville and beyond.
The Four Seasons and The Hazelton Hotel have long been known to attract A-listers, as are restaurants like the celeb-friendly Sassafraz, Cibo Wine Bar, Byblos and Kasa Moto. With luxury brands, boutiques and high-end department store Holt Renfrew in the neighbourhood, sometimes your best bet at spotting your favourite celeb is to just walk around and keep your eyes open. You might just catch an Oscar-winner on a shopping spree!
Closer to festival central, on King Street West and UP Express Union Station, you’ll find many stars dashing between screenings and interviews during the day at hotel hotspots like the Shangri-La Hotel, the Ritz-Carlton, the Bisha Hotel and TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Now that you’ve got some insider celeb-spotting tips, remember to always keep your eyes peeled when exploring downtown Toronto during festival week. You never know if you may be ordering a coffee next to Viola Davis or crossing the street with Daniel Craig.
And there you have it! When the final curtain drops on TIFF, international guests are just 25 minutes away from Pearson Airport via UP Express Union Station. With trains running frequently, seven days a week, we’ll help you keep your trip on track and catch your flight on time.