Restaurants in Toronto’s Entertainment District Business Improvement Area (TOED BIA) are rolling out the red carpet for this year’s 39thAnnual Toronto International Film Festival. A new Festival Street initiative has 14 participating restaurants on King St., between John and Peter extending their patios into the street as part of the film-themed outdoor fair. The District’s portion of King Street expanding along the block fondly referred to as “Restaurant Row” turns into Festival Street during the opening weekend of the Festival, September 4 through to September 7, 2014.
The vision for the 2014 Festival Street is to create a grand promenade of art and music for pedestrians during the first four days of the Festival. Restaurants in the District are showing their support with patio extensions in the core of this year’s star-studded red carpet event. For Janice Solomon, Executive Director Toronto Entertainment District BIA, “The Toronto International Film Festival is a highly anticipated event and we are thrilled to be working with TIFF, Grolsh and our restaurant members on extending restaurant patios over opening weekend.” The TOED BIA gratefully acknowledges Grolsh for their support in part, towards the patio expansion for Festival street. Grolsh is the Official Beer Sponsor of the Toronto International Film Festival.
The 14 Entertainment District restaurants participating in Festival Street include:
Pearl King, Ultimate Café, Hey Lucy, Kit Kat Italian Bar & Grill, N’Awlins, HUSH, Gabby’s, Le Saint Tropez, Joe Mamas, La Fenice, Fred’s Not Here, z-teca Paese, andForget About it Supper Club.
Hundreds of Entertainment District bars and restaurants beyond the King St. Festival Street are participating in Toronto’s International Film Festival. The District offers one of Toronto’s widest variety of restaurants and bars to accommodate the taste of all festival goers. With the unveiling of Festival Street, combined with chic Entertainment District venues from Luma and Montecito to Copacabana, festival goers will get an enhanced culinary experience during the Festival.
The King St. Festival street initiative will also include a photo booth that features HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and pop-up characters from a number of Stanley Kubrick films, to promote TIFF’s Kubrick exhibit coming later this fall. Tribute will also be given to National Film Board animation pioneer Norman McLaren for what would have been the year of his 100th birthday, with outdoor screenings of his short films and honorary performances crafted by Toronto pop group Absolutely Free.
Beginning September 4 and running to September 14, 2014, the Festival will screen 393 films from 79 countries. The Entertainment District will have the red carpets rolled out and club and restaurant venues decked out to celebrate and welcome over 500 celebrities. This year’s festival welcomes such A-list celebs as: Bill Murray, Robert Downey Jr., Kate Winslet, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Aniston, Channing Tatum, Kristen Wiig, Steve Carell and Tina Fey.
“The Toronto International Film Festival is excited to extend the energy of the Festival out onto King Street,” said David Carey, Director of Government & Foundation Relations at TIFF. “By bringing TIFF’s programming beyond the screen, film-lovers from all over the world can discover a whole new side of the Festival – and enjoy some of the best food and drink in the City, right here in the Entertainment District.”