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Crowds swarm King St. during TIFF opening weekend

Posted by Staff / September 9, 2013

TIFF 2013The Club District transformed into the TIFF District during the opening weekend of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Nowhere were the throngs of celeb-seekers greater than the crowds that lined King Street outside the Princess of Wales Theatre. From Roy Thompson Hall to the Lightbox, King West was a constant buzz of activity all weekend long.

Check out photos from the weekend via this slideshow



iSkyscraper / September 9, 2013 at 11:14 am
What a great slideshow.

It's astonishing how much has changed because of the Lightbox, which really did everything it promised to do and pulled the TIFF centre of gravity southward. Now that everything has settled and a couple years have gone by, there is no going back. The scenes of crowds milling aimlessly around Bloor and Yonge, lined up for screenings at the salt-of-the-earth Uptown and the Uptown Backstage, are a distant memory indeed.

As a development tool, the Lightbox will go down in urban planning history. No doubt someone is preparing a case study on it in some graduate school. Bravo.

Note - slide 5 is pretty terrific, with essentially a pedestrianized and prettied-up King Street that maintains a streetcar ROW. Too bad this cannot be the image of King Street all year long. Toronto could have much more rapid surface transit if it wanted - it only takes a little willpower, or one George Clooney, to make it happen.
jeff / September 9, 2013 at 11:55 am
Amazing how much larger this fest is getting each year. I have been doing it for 12+ years. I really wish they would continue to improve the box office/ticket/info though. I want an easy way to see what tickets are available. The availability should show on the movie description page as it used to. They should open up the data so that other apps can use the data and people can develop apps/websites to parse it.
lister replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / September 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm
Re: Permanent streetcar ROW

Yeah but you mean still allowing local residents car access to King St right?
King / September 9, 2013 at 01:05 pm
Aside from the streetcar, how much "car access" do "local residents" need over the space of a weekend? There are other streets around King for "local's" to use, and it is no more disruptive than Caribana, Pride or any other big festival. Car seems to be king in North America and people ought to worry less about having 100% access to every street 100% of the time.
lister replying to a comment from King / September 9, 2013 at 01:36 pm
My comment wasn't about a weekend restriction. Those happen frequently (perhaps too frequently IMO*) but there are ways around them or just avoid them altogether. Rather my comment was about the comment about making it permanent.

Regardless, closing certain portions outright can make it impossible to get in and out of your residence without violating traffic laws and putting yourself and others in harm's way.

* Actually let me expand on that. I don't mind street closures for festivals and the like. I really dislike closures for marathons, charity runs, etc though.

Oh and I'd like to point out I'm primarily a pedestrian. I walk to and from work and frequently all over downtown. So I'm not a big bad evil drive everywhere car person. I actually hate driving but sometimes it's a must.
Ling Gu replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / September 9, 2013 at 02:15 pm
I love the Film Festival, and am really pleased at how the Lightbox has promoted a culture of film here in Toronto.

One thing about the slideshow: that area of King West, involving the Lightbox, Princess of Wales Theatre, and Roy Thomson Hall, (and the Scotiabank two blocks away) really helps to centralize the Festival's activities (films, fans, movie stars, public space). It's a shame, though, that in a few years the Princess of Wales theatre will be razed with the construction of those new condo towers. I wonder how that venue - the number of seats, its attraction as a venue, the location - will be replaced.
Sigh replying to a comment from lister / September 9, 2013 at 03:52 pm
So....let me get this are fine with street closures for a festival but not for an event that raises money for a charitable cause or medical research?
johnsonstarfish / September 9, 2013 at 05:41 pm
I find it absolutely amazing and sad that people stargaze and go to such lengths to a) simply watch a movie and b) herd together in hopes of catching a glimpse of an actor or actress.


These people are making movies! They aren't saving lives or improving the world in any way. Get your priorities straight.
G / September 9, 2013 at 08:13 pm
lol you guys are all pretentious clowns
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