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TIFF Festival Street: Where Cinema Meets the Sidewalk

TIFF 2015

Image: Courtesy of TIFF

The Toronto International Film Festival marks its 40th anniversary this year. This is one of the most exciting times in Toronto, not just for the red carpet events or the celebrities who roll through, but for the contagious energy it brings to the city. Every year, TIFF takes it up a notch and never ceases to amaze us. One new initiative we are excited about is Festival Street, a free outdoor festival running through September 13 on King Street West between Peter and University Streets. During the event, that area will be a no-vehicle zone, giving free access to everyone.

What’s great about this is that it caters to everyone, whether or not you have tickets to go see a film, an invite to a gift lounge or are looking for something to do for a date night, you can still take part in some TIFF fun. Also not to be missed is Questival, a walking interactive quiz designed by Frontier Design & Innovation. Balloons decorated with artwork will float above the streets as well, so it should be a great sight to see. Each balloon will have artwork showcasing a past festival film. If you are into live music, make sure to stop by the NewCanadianMusic.ca Stage, which will have music from up-and-coming talent.

The Slaight Family Zone is a great spot with tons of activities for the family, including a street-spanning colouring book. We may have to go there because who doesn’t love a good colouring book? If art is more your thing, cinema-inspired installations will be on display. The Festival Street installations have three main focuses this year, but the one we can’t wait to see is the Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen Photo Booth. Picture a photo booth that takes filmstrips to make them into GIFs that can be shared on social. This installation is a prelude to TIFF’s fall exhibition, which starts October 30.

Last but not least, the Food Truck Village is something we’re looking forward to checking out. This is the first of its kind at TIFF, taking place at Pearl and John Streets. There you can find a variety of food, including vegan, desserts, meat lovers’ favourites and snacks. Some of the trucks featured are Hogtown Smoke, Toronto’s first BBQ truck, Koi Gourmet, featuring mouthwatering Korean cuisine and Localista, a farm meets street-inspired food truck.

Step out this weekend and make the most of the weather while you can. TIFF just started and this is a great way to celebrate its return.