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Star sightings at TIFF14

Where to stalk, how to stalk and when is it appropriate to give Tina Fey your email address? (Never, you guys. Never.)

Tiff Panel for The F Word with Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Driver and Zoe Kazan

Photo courtesy of TIFF

With the arrival of TIFF comes the absolute height of Toronto’s celeb-sighting season. While the occasional sighting of a visiting superstar or a cast member from Rookie Blue is a pretty normal occurrence in Toronto, nothing compares to the celebrity free-for-all that is TIFF. Obvious places like expensive restaurants and exclusive after-parties are great ways to find yourself in the presence of visiting movie stars, but there are a few easier and more affordable ways too.

Vegetarian restaurants

A lot of hot spot lists will point you to some of Toronto’s fanciest restaurants, but the real secret is Toronto’s many vegetarian and vegan restaurants.

When your entire career revolves around your body, you’ve got to watch what you feed yourself. While some celebs love fine dining, many opt for healthier fare. The vegetarian restaurants in Toronto are a year-round best bet to spot actors, and TIFF only multiplies those odds.

Best bets: Fresh, Live Organic Food Bar, Grasslands

Don’t-be-a-weirdo tip: If you are sitting next to Ellen Page or Charlie Hunnam chowing down on a quinoa bowl, just remember they probably want to chill and enjoy their hummus in peace. If you must approach them, then wait until after they’ve finished their meal, and make it brief.

Upscale and hipster cafés

Even superstars need their caffeine fix, and with Toronto’s many upscale espresso bars, there is no shortage of world-class java to share with the stars.

Best bets: Dark Horse, Starbucks in Yorkville, Thor Espresso Bar

Don’t-be-a-weirdo tip: If you’re going to go veg out in a café for hours, then have something to do. Buy a lot of coffee and treats, and read your book. Do not try taking “subtle,” secret celeb pictures on your phone. That’s treading into stalker territory. Don’t do it.

Canadian films screening at TIFF14 >>


Even if you can’t score a coveted ticket to a gala or after-party, the red carpet premieres at TIFF are a guaranteed way to catch a glimpse of a specific star. Show up super early if you want a chance of being closest to the stars, and don’t be disappointed if you can’t snag a photo or autograph. While you might be able to, some of the bigger stars tend to show up right before the screening, do a few press shots and then hurry into the venue.

Best bets: Try the big-ensemble movie screenings for maximum star-sighting potential, like This Is Where I Leave You. Just try to remain calm when you see Tina Fey, Adam Driver and Jason Bateman in the same place.

Don’t-be-a-weirdo tip: It’s totally fine to cheer and wave when you see Jennifer Lawrence or Peter Dinklage walking that carpet, and if they are offering autographs or handshakes, don’t be shy. However, it’s real easy to go from “enthusiastic fan” to “creepy girl shouting about having Paul Rudd’s babies,” and nobody wants to hear about that. Be cool.

If you’ll be in Toronto during the festival, then by all means, go see the stars do their thing. If you see the SheKnows crew, come say hi and make us feel like the celebrities we aren’t. Remember that celebrities are people too, and sometimes you just have to admire them from a respectful distance. That sounded kind of stalker-ish — don’t be a stalker, OK? Have fun, stay safe, and don’t be a weirdo!

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