Photo: Andrey Ivanov

How to do TIFF

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By Skyler Ash

Cinephiles everywhere are flocking to the city, where the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is in full swing. TIFF is the one time of year where Toronto is actually marginally cool, so if you want to check it out, here are the top spots to go for all the action you haven’t been craving.

Do you like having other people’s bodies pressed up against yours while your ribs are being shoved into a hard steel barrier? Head on over to a red carpet premier! I’d recommend something at Roy Thompson Hall, or the Princess of Wales Theatre, where many of the larger TIFF films are premiering. Don’t like sweaty people coming at you from every angle just to catch a glimpse of Chris Pratt? Don’t stand in the front row at the carpet’s edge, but rather, further back where you won’t see anything, but also won’t feel like you’re in a living nightmare.

Do you like slipping on the streetcar tracks and waiting in long lines for small amount of free food and drinks? Head on down to King Street! The street is closed off between Spadina and University avenues until the festival comes to an end on Sept. 18. The gruelling heat and humidity are also a bonus, making the cattle-like crowds even more irritable than usual.

Didn’t buy your TIFF tickets yet, and they’re all sold out online? Head over to any theatre’s Rush line to try and get some last-minute tickets. All you have to do is line up 36 hours before the movie is set to start for your slim chance to grab a seat! Remember to pack snacks, because nobody is saving your place in the “survival-of-the-fittest” habitat of the dreaded Rush line.

Do you like overpriced food and drinks? Make your way to the Ritz-Carlton on Wellington Street! The Ritz is the hotel that many celebs are staying, drinking and eating at this year at TIFF, making it THE place to be to see a star. Their bar serves up an array of cocktails my sister describes as “too expensive and too fancy to drink.” We did, however, split the best piece of cake I’ve ever had for $12.

Want some TIFF merchandise? Stop by the TIFF Bell Lightbox at the corner of King and John, where the TIFF store presides. This year’s hot items feature expensive mugs, lame t-shirts and the world’s worst kaleidoscope. Be sure to cherish your memories of this year’s festival with some plastic contraption called a reusable juice box, because nothing says TIFF quite like a glorified container for fluids.

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