One-Tank Trip for Aug. 11-18
(c) By Jim Fox
Star-struck fans don’t have to wait until next month’s celebrated film fest in Toronto – they can experience the city like a celebrity any time of the year.
“If you enjoy the movies, celebrity and entertainment news, we have some unique experiences just for you,” says Irene Knight of Tourism Toronto.
There is no question that Toronto “is for film lovers,” she adds as the city has connections to some of this year’s best films.
|The Toronto festival attracts about 500,000 people for hundreds of film showings. (Tourism Toronto – Connie Tsang)|
Guillermo del Toro’s the Shape of Water was filmed in the city and took home top honours at the Golden Globes and Oscars.
The film’s producer, J. Miles Dale is Toronto-based and shares the Best Picture nomination with del Toro.
Toronto is home to visual FX studio Mr. X, that has credits on award favourites including Mother!, Girls Trip, Mudbound and Molly’s Game.
Other connections include Toronto native Christopher Plummer (nominated for best supporting actor in All the Money in the World).
Oscar-nominated animated short the Breadwinner had Toronto actor Saara Chaudry voicing the lead character and Andrew Rosen, whose production company Aircraft Pictures is based in Toronto, as co-producers.
Toronto Tourism offers the following suggestions for film aficionados.
Discover the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) from Sept. 6 to 16 and Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, next April 25 to May 5.
|See films year-round at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, home to the Toronto International Film Festival headquarters. (Tourism Toronto - Charles Leonio)|
Tour TIFF Bell Lightbox, festival headquarters and a cultural institution that offers year-round screenings.
Go on guided tours of Toronto’s most famous locations featured in film and TV productions and dine at sought-after celebrity restaurants.
A great way to scout film locations is with tour guide Bruce Bell.
Often referred to as “Hollywood North,” his tours uncover sites where Toronto has doubled for cities including New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, Paris and London.
Recognized spots include the Elgin Theatre seen in the Shape of Water and Chicago, the Financial Centre in Suits with Meghan Markle and others such as Suicide Squad. brucebelltours.ca
Experience the elegance
Take a guided tour to view the splendor of the Edwardian era at Casa Loma, called “the only full-sized castle in North America.”
A popular film location , it’s a premier historic attraction built in 1914 with secret passageways, elaborately decorated rooms and authentic period furnishings. casaloma.ca
Book a private session or tour Second City Improv Class to play games such as Whose Line Is It Anyway and check out the mainstage to see the pros in action. secondcity.com/toronto
Visit the Ryerson Image Centre that develops programs for the research, teaching and exhibition of photography and related media. ryersonimagecentre.ca/the-ric
|The Distillery Historic District has been the scenic backdrop for many movies shot in Toronto. (Jim Fox photo)|
Tourism Toronto serves up several restaurants that are favourite celebrity haunts.
- Sassafraz in the heart of historic Yorkville serves “market-driven, French-inspired Canadian cuisine and attracts a myriad of celebrities.”
- Montecito is called a “modern restaurant collaboration” between Hollywood director Ivan Reitman and Toronto-based Innov8 Hospitality.
- Sotto Sotto is said to “bring the romance of Italy to the heart of Toronto where guests are captivated by its enchanting atmosphere, coupled with authentic Italian cuisine and a wide variety of wines.”
- Luma “pays homage to Toronto’s rich, cultural landscape,” with global and Canadian artisanal cuisine.
- Cluny in the Distillery District, a popular film setting, transports diners to a “sprawling neo-Parisian bistro that fearlessly mixes eras, patterns and materials into a surprisingly cohesive aesthetic.”
In a TIFF
The 43rd annual film fest attracts about 500,000 people for hundreds of showings and movie star sightings from Sept. 6 to 16. tiff.net/tiff; (416) 599-8433
For more about star-studded Toronto: SeeTorontoNow.com; (416) 987-1739
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca