TIFF 2018 street closure

Toronto confused and upset as King streetcar diverted for TIFF

Is the off-chance of seeing Nicole Kidman grab a coffee worth seriously inconveniencing 80,000 commuters who use Toronto's busiest surface transit route every day?

For the many thousands of tourists who flock to Toronto for TIFF each year, yes, of course it is — and The City of Toronto is on their side.

Otherwise, why would they keep allowing the festival to close off a major chunk of King Street for Hollywood's finest (and the proles who love them) to come and do their thing?

Downtown residents certainly want to know, as evidenced by our annual tweets of rage on the first day of "festival street."

It should also be noted that this TIFF diversion isn't the TTC's fault. Toronto's transit commission hates it just as much as the rest of us.

The most recent figures available show from TIFF shows that the festival generated an annual economic impact of $189 million for Toronto as of 2013.

That's great – truly! But it likely doesn't factor in the more-recent impact of everybody being late for work due to unexpected streetcar diversions...

Or overcrowding caused by the loss of a major transit line for four days...

Some people are taking their anger out on film festival sponsors.

Others are calling on TIFF directly to ask for a resolution to the problem — some of them a bit sarcastically.

At least the TTC is now formally recognizing how much the people of Toronto are impacted by this annual TIFF-related road closure.

Riders who are inconvenienced by the route interruption are reportedly being handed vouchers to go and see a free, regular-priced movie at the TIFF Bell Lightbox year-round (or until December 31, 2018, at least, when the vouchers will expire.)

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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