The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival officially kicks off today, and that means the city will be teeming with A-listers such as Ansel Elgort, Jessica Chastain and Channing Tatum. But if you can’t afford to attend gala premieres or don’t find yourselves invited into any A-list parties, don’t fret.
Since we’ve already given you the survival guide to being a fangirl, here are 10 hotspots you should stake out while you search for your favourite celebrities.
Located at the heart of the Entertainment District, this glitzy hotel will serve as the home for many celebrities as they make their way to gala premieres at Roy Thomson Hall and the Princess of Wales Theatre. With its near five-star rating, it would only make sense for A-listers to make this their home away from home!
Located at 181 Wellington St W.
Intercontinental Toronto Centre Hotel
This is where TIFF will hold most of their press conferences, which means it will be teeming with celebrities all day. However, fans looking to catch a glimpse of their idol may have some difficulties, as most are brought inside the covered driveway on the south side of the building where fans are not allowed to enter.
Located at 225 Front St W.
The Trump Hotel
Nothing says exclusive like The Trump Hotel. After all, just think of its namesake! A favourite among celebrities, The Trump Hotel will be host to several closed parties and serve as another place for celebrities to stay during Toronto. According to Hello! Canada, Perks of Being a Wallflower star Ezra Miller stayed in a Trump suite and reportedly conducted his press interviews from under the covers. In addition, stars like Emma Watson, Johnny Depp and Dustin Hoffman have been said to tour the halls and bars of the venue in previous years as well.
Located at 325 Bay St.
As one of the official locations for TIFF after-parties, Soho House is the place to be. But while the chances of getting inside are slim to none (unless you score an invite or steal a waiter’s uniform), this place is often surrounded by fans outside hoping to get an autograph and selfie with their favourite stars. Last year, Michael Fassbender was said to be a “dancing machine” here as he bopped along to R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix).” Benedict Cumberbatch on the other hand, was seen looking very amused by the moose head hanging over the fireplace. Way to get our imaginations running, you guys!
Located at 192 Adelaide St W.
The Thompson Hotel
Just south of King Street on Bathurst, The Thompson Hotel is the place to be for A-listers. Stars like James Franco, Carey Mulligan and Marion Cotillard have been spotted on the venue’s rooftop patio. That being said though, it’ll be near impossible to get in if you don’t have someone to hook you up with an invite. However, there’s always the Thompson’s 24/7 diner, which is perfect for a quick bite before you continue your celebrity hunting adventures.
Located at 550 Wellington St W.
Nothing says shopping like a star than designer clothes! In the past, Variety has set up their studio in this high-end department store interviewing and photographing celebs. So if you’re down to shop and stalk, dress up in your most fashion-forward outfit and stop by the Holt’s in Yorkville!
Located at 50 Bloor St W.
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Serving as Toronto’s year-round venue for art-house films, the TIFF Bell Lightbox is the heart of the festival. Along with screenings, it’ll also be host to several press conferences throughout the 10-day event. The Lightbox will also be the place where you can celebrate Bill Murray Day on September 5. From 10 to 6, the venue will screen free screenings of Murray’s classics Ghostbusters, Stripes and Groundhog Day. And since Murray is also expected to attend the festival for the premiere of his film St. Vincent later that night, you might just be one of the lucky fans to see him in person if he shows up to one or all of those screenings!
Located at 350 King St W.
An after-party hotspot for premieres, this resto-lounge is also the place where The Hollywood Reporter hosts several of its interviews. In the past, celebs like Zac Efron, Colin Firth and Jude Law have said to made appearances at the venue. And in 2012, David Blaine even performed magic tricks for the likes of Selena Gomez and Ashley Benson here.
Located at 461 King St W.
The Hazelton Hotel
With TIFF listed as one of “the busiest times of the year” for the Hazelton Hotel, fans can easily star gaze at while dining on the patio of ONE Restaurant. Past celebrities (including Jon Hamm, Blake Lively and Bono) have been spotted here.
Located at 118 Yorkville Ave.
Adjacent to the fancy Shangri-La Hotel, it would only make sense for celebs lodging there to grab a bite to eat at Momofuku. With the restaurant’s wide array of food choices (ranging from ramen, fried chicken, cakes and pies), it’s no surprise why celebs like Felicity Jones, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson have been seen around here trying out some delicious plates.
Located at 190 University Ave.
Honourable mention: Ryerson Theatre and/or Roy Thomson Hall
If you’re not down to frequent the above locations at the fear of being creepy, your best bet would be waiting in the barricades before a screening. From my personal experiences, these venues have been the best places for fans to interact with celebs because the viewing space is quite large.
Set near Church and Gerrard streets, the Ryerson Theatre’s barricades will lead into the university’s quad, giving fans a lot of room to get an autograph or snap a selfie with their fave celebrity. Galas taking place at Roy Thomson Hall are particularly exciting as the barricades will stretch all over David Pecaut Square. In the past, George Clooney walked up and down the barricades at Roy Thomson and made sure each fan in the front row got an autograph. So when in doubt, just watch the stars walk down the red carpet!
The Ryerson Theatre is located at 350 Victoria Street. Roy Thomson Hall is located at 60 Simcoe Street.