I had a little TIFF today

Today was the final day of the Toronto International Film Festival so I popped on over to the main site of the goings on, to see how many stars I could spot. lol. I didn’t see a single one but didn’t really expect to. Really I wanted to get some shots of the new building called The Lightbox, that as of this year is the home of the annual festival.

I like movies but am not so into them that I get tickets for this festival. From what I’ve heard they are very hard to get and the line-ups are really long. Apparently many fans of the festival actually book their vacation time so they can see as many of the movies as possible during the week and a half event.

This year, 33 films from around the world were screened for the first time, and there were a whole bunch of superstars in town, including Brad and Angelina, George, Madonna, Bono, among many more. (First names only required .. saves typing time!)

The Lightbox, where many (but not all) of the movies were screened is located on King Street West, at John St. For countless years this site had been a gravel parking lot. The background story goes something like this: the plot of land had been owned by an elderly man who bought it when he first immigrated to Toronto 35+ years ago. At the time, this was considered the outer edge of the downtown core, so he didn’t pay much for it.

In recent years, his son who is a filmmaker (GhostBusters and Animal House) and his sisters offered to sell the sight to The TIFF Group and a developer. Needless to say, his family made a lot when they decided to sell it. While I can’t say exactly how much, the total project (including the building etc) required funds of $196 million, so it must have been quite a bit. I remember reading about the sale back when it happened and having a “wouldn’t it be nice if …” moment!

The tower part is a condo development going up on top of The Lightbox, which is not open yet hence the green netting on the balconies. It was hard to get a good shot of the building because you can’t really stand far enough away from it to get a view of the whole thing.

ps. Sorry I didn’t get any pictures of stars for you. Word is that people waited all day to catch a glimpse. Some years ago I was invited to one of the gala parties and Brad Pitt was there, but he was in a whole special tent within the party-space, where ‘regular’ people were not allowed to go. So I was a canvas-wall away from him. Does that count?

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