TIFF Celebrity Spotting

The entertainment district downtown Toronto is crazy during TIFF. With all the red carpet events, parties, the line ups to the films, the black cars and cabs it’s mayhem. But I love it. TIFF is such a fun time in the city and the weather gods have been cooperating mostly.

0001aLMy friends often ask me where are the best places in the city if you want to do a little “star gazing”. Well, to be honest with you, it’s not that difficult, really. And most of the celebrities are pretty easy going about you pulling out your mobile device to snap up some photos. Fans line up ever so politely waiting along red carpets with the throngs of international press. And based on my friends’ Instagram postings, the celebrities are obliging.

But please, please, please be respectful. Just think, you probably wouldn’t want someone taking a photo of you chewing your meal. Okay? I’ve been in parties with celebrities and have always respected their privacy. Always ask if you can take a photo first. Just be nice.

1. Shangri-La Hotel – a number of celebrities are staying at this luxurious hotel. The lobby bar was busy last night as was the Momofuku’s Noodle Bar. If you can nab a coveted seat in the lounge or bar, and fork over for the pricey drinks you may just spot someone famous. Yesterday, we spotted Michael Fassbender and Liam Neeson. Prisoner’s Director Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhaal were also spotted last weekend.

Shangri-La Hotel Lobby Bar

2. Ritz-Carlton Hotel – the DEQ bar is nicely tucked away in the back of the hotel lobby and a beautiful patio. While you’re on the look out enjoy one of their TIFF inspired cocktails. Celebrities like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and George Clooney have all stayed here in the past. It remains a favourite hotspot. The Spa My Blend by Clarins Spa is also a great escape away from the paparazzi and gawkers.

3. Holt Renfrew Variety Studio Bloor Street – a number of celebrities visit the iconic store in the Bloor Yorkville area and you may get lucky spotting them as they vacate their cars and head to the entrance way to Variety Studio located in Holt’s.  Stars who’ve already visited include Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Chastain, Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde, Maria Bello, Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Paul Haggis, and the list goes on.


4. Soho House – tucked away behind the Shangri-La Hotel in an unassuming historical house is the SoHo House. Celebrities like ducking in here for the privacy. Fans were hanging out there late last night hoping for a glance of a celebrity or two. As I walked past, two young women were giddy with excitement as presumably an actor had come out and took a selfie with them on their camera. Unless you’re a member, you won’t be able to get in but stand close enough and you may spot someone.

5. Four Season Hotel – no surprise as this is always a favourite for celebrities to stay at during TIFF. It’s not in TIFF central anymore but it’s Yorkville with lots of shops and restaurants. Order your drinks and truffled parmesan french fries and chill.

6. Where the party’s at. Roy and I were invited to the Microsoft Xbox Power of One TIFF Party last night at the Bloke & 4th and James MacAvoy was there. I was also at the One x One party was held at AMC Storys and celebrities like Patricia Arquette, David Rocco, Kardinal Official were there.

Have you spotted any celebrities yet?




Sonya is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of AZNmodern.com. She is also a well-established contributing lifestyle writer to other sites and magazines sharing her passion for arts & culture, fashion, beauty, travel and food. Sonya is based in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theculturepearl

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