Hollywood hits Toronto

There’s a two-week window in Toronto’s social calendar when the whole world is watching – the Toronto International Film Festival (8th-18th September 2011). As a discerning festival that is highly respected in the industry, it always attracts the crème de la crème of Hollywood. With the arrival of the TIFF Bell Lightbox last year – a cinema and entertainment complex that now hosts the film galas – there is a new epicentre to the event.

Previously, wide-eyed ingénues and movie moguls would congregate in the chi-chi Yorkville district famed for its plush hotels, restaurants and bars. Now that the TIFF Bell Lightbox is situated in downtown Toronto’s Entertainment district, the galaxy of stars has dramatically shifted. Thankfully, the newly chosen neighbourhood can easily cope…

The Ritz Carlton opened this year with all the refinement and opulence one would expect of the brand (together with a mega-spa for beautifying), while the Le Germain and the Soho Metropolitan hotels continue to offer discretion and supreme comfort. Those hungry for food as well as fame will be well catered to at Lee (Asian Fusion), Buca (Italian), Blowfish (Japanese), Nota Bene (Continental) and Jacobs & Co (Steakhouse). Celebratory drinks could be quaffed in the exotic environs of Spice Route, the jewel-like dance floor of Dolce Social Ballroom, or in the newest addition to the club scene – Maison Mercer. All have elegant outdoor terraces with cabanas and jungle-worthy foliage, but beware of catching stiletto heels in the perilously gapped wooden decking. Expect to see a falling star…

Stepahnie Plentl is author of A Hedonists Guide to Toronto.

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