TIFF 2016: Toronto is 'Puttin' on the Ritz' for TIFF
An insider's guide to a celebrity's lifestyle during TIFF
Local businesses are in high gear while Toronto International Film Festival's Hollywood A-listers are in town — rolling out special bar menus, customizing their services and offering exclusive access to some of Toronto's premiere venues.
A few of the restaurants, bars and hotels that are being creative to draw in stars gave CBC News insider access to experience how these mega celebrities will be eating, drinking and sleeping during the next eight days.
High end Toronto-inspired cocktails
New this year, 'The 6' cocktail is a tribute to Drake and part of a show stopping lineup of six cocktails at the DEQ Terrace and Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton. Bartenders specifically crafted the menu for the hotel's sixth year at TIFF.
The Ritz is a renowned celebrity hotspot because of its proximity to the red carpets rolling out at Roy Thomson Hall's TIFF movie premieres. Josh Young, a lead bartender at the hotel, is mixing other Toronto-inspired cocktails on the menu that's also shaped like a six:
- The 6 (paying tribute to Drake)
- The Edge 360 (for the CN Tower and edge walk)
- The Street Rocket (representing streetcars in Toronto)
- Bay Street Bull (for Toronto's Financial District)
- Love Distill (symbolizing the Distillery District)
- 416 Graffiti (for the original telephone area code and Graffiti Alley)
Private rooftop parties
A well-known venue for its private parties during TIFF, the Thompson Hotel has one of the only rooftop pools in the city attracting celebrities like Brad Pitt and Julianne Moore who are seeking a 360 degree skyline view and privacy from the poolside lounge.
"It's a nice venue where the celebrities can really enjoy themselves and enjoy the company of one another without being bothered," says Jeff Waters, general manager of the Thompson Toronto.
This year's guest list attending includes American Pastoral actor/director, Ewan McGregor and actresses, Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning; Oscar-winner and Snowden's director, Oliver Stone; and other notable celebrities like James Franco, Julianne Moore, Sandra Bullock, Matt Damon and Emily Blunt during last year's festival.
Catering to the stars
Montecito's kitchen is serving Sandra Bullock's favourite crispy potatoes and the massaged kale salad that general manager, Heather McDougall says Julianne Moore couldn't get enough of before last year's screening of Freeheld.
But this is just one of the things that makes this venue exclusive. Montecito has two back doors to usher A-list celebrities needing covert access in and out without being disturbed, says McDougall.
From special bar menus, to opulent drinks, lavish hotel parties, private access and delectable food these Toronto businesses are creating new ways to celebrate TIFF that will bring Hollywood celebrities through their doors.
With files from Alison Chiasson