The Best Places to Spot Celebrities During TIFF 2014

We told you who’s coming.

We told you where they’ll stay and where they’ll party.

But we know that what you really want to know most is where you’ll have the best chance of running into (or just catching a glimpse of) your favourite A-lister over the next 10 days.

Well, wonder no more.


Soho Metropolitan *****
Upside: With its close proximity to TIFF Bell Lightbox, Soho is a reliable bet for stargazing.
Downside: The crowds by the entrances are huge, so get there early. And don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Four Seasons ****
Upside: The prime Yorkville location means that stars will flock, so your chances of spotting a celebrity at the hotel or at the hotel’s own dBar are high.
Downside: There are barricades in place to ensure you keep your distance.

Thompson Hotel ****
Upside: Even if you miss out on spotting a star, don’t miss out on grabbing a drink on their amazing rooftop patio.
Downside: You may have to rent a room to catch a glimpse of a star.

Shangri-la **  
Upside: Even if you don’t get the chance to see a celebrity, their on-sight restaurant, Bosk, is worth the trip alone.
Downside: Although this luxury hotel will most likely be filled with top celeb talent, the many exits allow stars to come and go without being spotted. And tricky celebs are the worst.


Holt Renfrew ***
Upside: You can window shop (and celebrity stalk) all you like without having to make any purchases and hope to see stars like Dakota Fanning, Susan Sarandon, and Olivia Wilde, who’ve all frequented it in the past.
Downside: You may have to do a lot of window shopping (and waiting) in order to see a celebrity.

Whole Foods Market ***
Upside: With their highly active and healthy lifestyles, it’s no surprise celebrities are spotted here each year, including Katie Holmes and Suri (who’s the bigger star?) in recent years.
Downside: This is not like other locations; to celebrity watch here you’re going to have to shop (or at least start filling a cart). Aka: loitering will be difficult.

Kensington Market *
Upside: The variety of vintage shops in the area ensure you’ll have a good shopping day with or without a star spotting.
Downside: The many smaller shops mean that the chances of seeing a celebrity are rare.


Sassafraz *****
Upside: As a long-time favourite of Toronto’s more affluent, celebrities return to this Yorkville hotspot every year.
Downside: As one of the more popular Yorkville locations for the stars, their security routine is pretty well practiced.

One Restaurant *****
Upside: With previous star sightings like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Bono, this will be one of your best bets for restaurant stargazing.
Downside: With this kind of top clientele, you can bet security will be on high alert.  

Upside: They’re hosting this year’s Hollywood Reporter Lounge and still open to the public. In fact, they’re offering a 30-minute lunch special so you can eat, watch, and get back to work before anyone accuses you of stalking Anna Kendrick. 
Downside: There might be more insiders here than A-listers, but that’s what IMDb is for, no?

Momofuku ***
Upside: This one is a toss-up… you can eat at their high-end restaurant Daisho or grab a drink at their bar Nikai and hope to see a star eating or walking by on University Avenue.
Downside: Although their custom cocktails are killer, you may build up quite a bill without seeing anything other than the bottom of your glass.

La Societe ***
Upside: This fancy French bistro is sure to capture the attention of some of Hollywood’s most elite, but if you miss the stars be sure to dig into their amazing tuna tartare.
Downside: You’ll likely have to actually be dining with the talent (or next to them) in order to catch a glimpse.

Montecito ***
Upside: The talented owner (Hollywood director Ivan Reitman), combined with food made only with fresh and local ingredients, are sure to lure a big crowd.
: With a direct path between TIFF and Montecito and a private staircase that leads to a private dining room, stars can easily get to and from the restaurants without stepping out in public.

Sotto Sotto **
Upside: In the past, the Yorkville location has enabled some lucky fans to spot the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Downside: You may be left waiting all day while you build up quite the bill at this luxury restaurant.


Soho House *****
Upside: As one of Toronto’s most exclusive and elite clubs, celebrities will flock to Soho as an escape from the crowds. In previous years, this list has included top talent like George Clooney and Jimmy Kimmel.
Downside: With a no picture policy, you’ll have to keep your evidence to tweets and status updates.

The Drake ****
Upside: In past years the Drake has been a go-to bar during TIFF, so the chances of a star run-in are definitely high.
Downside: As a reliable celebrity hotspot, you’ll be joined by many other star-struck fans.  

Cabana Pool Bar **
Upside: This pool bar could have you taking a dip next to stars you’ve only dreamed about seeing.
Downside: It’s September; the weather may not hold up well enough for any stars to take a dip.


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