TIFF site dedicated to Reitman family
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | 2:18 PM ET
The site on which TIFF Bell Lightbox sits has been dedicated as Reitman Square, in honour of Leslie and Clara Reitman, parents of Ghostbusters filmmaker Ivan Reitman. (KPMB)The downtown block now home to the Toronto International Film Festival's new headquarters has been named Reitman Square, as organizers roll out the red carpet for the festival's 35th anniversary edition.
TIFF CEO Piers Handling and Adam Vaughan, the Toronto city councillor who represents the neighbourhood, presided over a dedication ceremony at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Wednesday.
The square's name recognizes Leslie and Clara Reitman, the parents of blockbuster director and producer Ivan Reitman and his sisters, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels.
"Leslie and Clara persevered through hardships to bring their family to Canada and create a life for them," Handling said in a statement.
"Ivan, Agi and Susan's recognition of their parents' commitment and vision has played a vital role in the realization of this dream, building a home for film at TIFF Bell Lightbox."
The Reitmans, who immigrated to Canada from Czechoslovakia after the Second World War, purchased a former car wash at the downtown Toronto intersection of King and John streets in the mid-1960s.
In 2001, when TIFF began looking for a venue on which to build a year-round facility, the family joined with developer Daniels Corporation to offer a site bid and, eventually, donated the land to TIFF for the new building.
TIFF Bell Lightbox, the festival's long-awaited new headquarters, officially opens to the public with a block party and free screenings and events on Sunday.