tiff road closures 2019

TIFF is shutting down one of Toronto's busiest transit routes again

Look out, humble Toronto residents: Some big-deal filmmakers, movie stars and studio execs are coming to town this week for the 44th Toronto International Film Festival — and King Street shall (temporarily) be their's. 

City officials are once again closing off a significant portion of Toronto's busiest surface transit route for an entire four days to accomodate a whole bunch of Americans wearing lanyards.

"Festival Street," now in its sixth year, will require the full closure of King Street West between Peter Street and University Avenue from 5 a.m on September 5 until 5 a.m. on September 9.

Portions of John Street, Ed Mirvish Way and Simcoe Street will also be closed off completely during the same time period.

Celebrity stans will enjoy the extra gathering space outside venues such as the Princes of Wales Theatre. Tourists will dig the endless row of fun, branded activations. 

People who live and work in downtown Toronto, however, mostly just hate how much time the road closure adds on to their commutes.

With roughly 80,000 boardings per day, the 504 streetcar line is relied on by a huge portion of the city to get to and from work. TIFF continues to mess that up for two weekdays and an entire weekend, despite backlash from citizens and the TTC alike.

Even Toronto Police are warning of "considerable disruption to traffic in the area" ahead of this year's festival, advising motorists to avoid the Entertainment District altogether in a press release issued today.

The City of Toronto itself says it is working with the TTC "to ensure Festival Street is enjoyed with minimal inconvenience to those travelling in this area of the city."

The "minimal" amount of inconvenience inflicted upon those tens of thousands of downtown commuters involves a long list of all-day TTC route diversions between the 5th and the 9th, as well as additional diversions during "red carpet events" on King Street West next week.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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