TIFF: Where the Stars Play


If you are in Toronto for TIFF, chances are that you’d like to do a little star spotting.  We all know that you can find them at the two main locations for Red Carpet action, TIFF Bell Lightbox and Roy Thomson Hall, but you can get even closer to your favourite celebs or just party like them. divine is giving you the inside scoop on where they play:

The Thompson Hotel

With panoramic views of TO at the Rooftop Lounge and Lobby Bar, stars both play and stay off the main strip at the Thompson.  Ryan Gosling made the hotel his home away from home last year.  Bradley Cooper, Kate Hudson, Brad Pitt and critic darling Eddie Redmayne have also rested their weary heads at the boutique hotel. Even the pool has celeb cred – you’ll recognize it from the show “Suits” with Megan Markle – Prince Harry’s current honey.  You may have to gawk from the sidewalk though – it’s notoriously hard to get into the hotel during TIFF.

divine Tip – Dine outside at Colette and you might just catch a glimpse of one of your faves on the Red Carpet.


When the stars are looking for casual elegance and effortless sophistication, they head to Montecito.  It’s also been home to a TIFF after party or two. Co-owned by famed film producer/director Ivan Reitman, it already has Hollywood North cred.  Stars like Denzel Washington, Reese Witherspoon and Robert Downey Jr. have partied at the venue.

divine Tip – One of the features of Montecito is a secret tunnel so that the stars can slip in and out.  You may not get much star spotting done here, but make reservations and you never know who you might run into.


Soho House

With locations all over Europe and North America, Soho House is home away from home for many of the TIFF celebs.  It’s been home to many an after party and has multiple levels, restaurants and bars inside to enjoy.   Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner hosted a dinner there in 2016.  Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart and Colin Firth have also hung out there.

divine Tip – Unless you have a membership, you cannot get in to Soho House.  Head to Adelaide West though, and see if you can spot any celebs making the entrances or exits.


This new-ish posh restaurant has a roof top that rivals the Thompson’s and was THE place to mingle with A-Listers last year.  Ryan Gosling AND Emma Stone mingled with fans while attending La-La Land’s after party.    Joseph Gordon-Levitt popped by to enjoy a meal.

divine Tip – Make reservations well in advance, this is a very popular place.

Other places to stage a chance encounter include STK, Wahlburgers – but only if you are a Mark Wahlburg fan, he’s the only star besides Donny that would head there, the ever popular Drake Hotel and Byblos.  Happy star gazing!

The Four Seasons Hotel

TIFF parties make a slight comeback in Yorkville with the addition of events at the Four Seasons.  The luxury hotel has long been a favourite of celebs, and In Style moved their party here with stars like Robert Pattison, Sofia Boutella and Elle Fanning walking the Red Carpet.

divine Tip – Even though it is a public place, security will be tight.  You may not be able to join the party, but why not enjoy a cocktail at  d|bar during the Festival.  You will feel like a star yourself with the bougie drink menu.

The Windsor Arms Hotel

The In Style party may have moved, but that did not mean that this venerable hub remained party-less.  The Artists for Peace and Justice event was held here with A-listers like Susan Sarandon, the Property Brothers and Ben Stiller attending.

divine Tip – The Red Carpet was on quiet St. Thomas Street – the perfect place to star-gaze without fighting the masses.

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