Reitman Square: TIFF's new address

Reitman Square: the new home of Toronto's Film Festival


Over the past two months, you've undoubtedly heard the name "Reitman" come up several times in any discussion about contemporary film. After all, director Jason Reitman's most recent film, Juno, is getting accolades from all sorts of places, and deservedly so.

Well, start getting used to hearing his surname a lot more often: the city block where the Toronto International Film Festival is building their new headquarters has now been officially renamed "Reitman Square."

The Reitman family came to Toronto from Czechoslovakia, and owned buildings in what is now the Entertainment District — not far from where the new Reitman Square is located. Their son Ivan is one of Canada's most-celebrated filmmakers, and Jason Reitman (Ivan's son) was born a few hours away in Montreal, though he now works in Los Angeles.

At a press conference yesterday, Adam Vaughan, Toronto city councillor for the area, emphasized the importance of naming the square after a successful immigrant family:

"This speaks to the heart of what our city is: a place where people from around the world come to find a better future and in doing so, giving Toronto the gift of a better future too."

The Reitman and Daniels families have been instrumental in providing the funding for the new TIFF development — John and Myrna Daniels get a lobby named after them — and naming the block after a prominent Canadian film-making family is probably a much better idea than naming it after a corporation or magazine.

The building smack-dab in the middle of Reitman Square is going to be named the Bell Lightbox, a name that has definitely been divisive among film fans in the city.

So in all this naming rights madness, do you think the TIFF Group made the right decision in making their street address Reitman Square?

Would the Reitman family have been recognized if they hadn't funded a significant part of the project? Is there someone else in the film community that deserves a block named after them?


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