TIFF Guide 2015: where to eat, shop and relax during the fest

TIFF Guide 2015: where to eat, shop and relax during the fest

Where to eat, drink and relax during TIFF 2015 (Image: George Pimentel)
 

Feeling worn out after a summer of Pan Am–mania? Suck it up. It’s TIFF time, when Hollywood comes north to debut next year’s Oscar-winning flicks in The 6, and the city is lit up by a constellation of paparazzi flash bulbs so intense, it can be seen from outer space. To prep you for the festival’s 40th edition, we stake out the drinking and dining destinations where you’re most likely to swap selfies with a movie star—and the pamper palaces that will make you look and feel like one.

Where to Eat, Drink and Party

Rub shoulders with Hollywood royalty at these surefire festival hot spots

(Image: Dave Gillespie) (Image: Dave Gillespie)
 

WHERE THE STAR POWER IS OFF THE CHARTS
Montecito
299 Adelaide St. W., 416-599-0299
Director Ivan Reitman teamed up with New York farm-to-table guru Jonathan Waxman to open the flashy Montecito just in time for last year’s fest. And the restaurant needed every one of its 12,000 square feet to accommodate the endless parade of stars: Robert Pattinson, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner and enough Ghostbusters alumni (Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson) to ward off a Marshallow Man attack.

WHERE YOU’RE MOST LIKELY TO RUN INTO A CELEBRITY APPRENTICE CONTESTANT
America
325 Bay St., 416-637-5550
On the 31st floor of the Trump Tower, America pulls off a total Jekyll and Hyde transformation. Midday, the long, double-height room is wall-to-wall suits, power-lunching on chef Bill Osborne’s upmarket renditions of down-home U.S. regional dishes; by night, it’s the closest Toronto comes to a Vegas supper club, complete with DJs and sparkler-twirling waitresses in platinum-blond wigs. The after-party for TIFF 2014 entry 99 Hours brought out stars Laura Dern, Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon, but America’s gaudy extravagance also attracted surprise drop-ins like Robert Pattinson, future Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne and certified friend-of-Donald Lil Jon, who assumed lordship over the restaurant’s rear banquettes only to spend the night compulsively checking his phone.

WHERE THE A-LISTERS FEEL AT HOME
Brassaii
461 King St. W., 416-598-4730
When TIFF festivities are in full swing, Brassaii is a revolving door: it’s a popular venue for post-premiere parties (like last year’s shindig for the Kevin Kline flick My Old Lady), and the Hollywood Reporter holds all its interviews on-site. (Robert Downey Jr., Al Pacino, Mila Kunis and Jake Gyllenhaal all made the rounds during TIFF 2014.) This year, Brassaii will be open to the public for lunch throughout the festival, so grab a seat at the bar, order a plate of chef Marcus Monteiro’s chicken and waffles, and take in the red carpet–worthy procession.

WHERE EVERYONE’S A VIP
The Drake Hotel
1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042

The Drake’s a bit far off from TIFF’s King West HQ. But it’s a festival favourite because the hotel always throws one incredible open-to-the-public party that’s so much fun, you won’t care if any celebs show up. Last year’s Jamaica-themed Get Ready to Rock Steady bash packed the Drake’s three levels with Toronto’s top indie music phenoms, including glee-club heroes Choir! Choir! Choir! and hotly tipped R&B beat maker Harrison. Guests were also treated to VIP-worthy perks like manicures from Pinky’s Nails. And with the neck-craning, autograph-hounding hysteria of TIFF at a minimum, the only ink being spilled was at the Speakeasy Tattoo station, where gutsy revellers could sign up for free skin-art sessions.

WHERE THE BIGWIGS DON’T NEED LIMOS
Michael’s on Simcoe
100 Simcoe St., 416-260-5100
tiff-guide-2015-morgan-freemanSince opening during TIFF 2012, this swank steak house has been a popular post-screening destination, no doubt because it’s an even shorter walk from Roy Thomson Hall than the buzzier Soho House. It’s the sort of place that treats movie stars like monarchy: last year, we spotted Morgan Freeman being greeted with curtsies, Diane Keaton drinking from a golden Moët & Chandon chalice and Julianne Moore holding court in an overflowing booth. Yet its warm ambiance makes celebs feel comfortable enough to break from the VIP ranks, like British funnyman Simon Pegg, who worked the floor at the after-party for Hector and the Search for Happiness.

WHERE THE REAL STAR IS THE RAMEN
Momofuku
190 University Ave., 647-253-8000
tiff-guide-2015-robert-duvallThe three-storey Momofuku complex, which is adjacent to the Shangri-La Hotel, features Noodle Bar for ramen, Nikai for cocktails, Milk Bar for baked goods, Daishō for oysters and Shōtō for elaborate tasting menus. All of them will be busy during TIFF, but none more than the schmoozy patio outside Daishō, where Roberts Duvall and Downey Jr., Al Pacino, Justin Theroux, and Noomi Rapace turned up last year at the Warner Bros. and Dolce and Gabbana cocktail soirée.

WHERE THE DANCE FLOOR BECKONS
Patria
478 King St. W., 416-367-0505
Patria is a faithful reproduction of an upscale Barcelona tapas bar, with its long list of Spanish wines, artisanal goat cheeses from La Mancha and heaping paelleras of seafood. But after last year’s TIFF, it’s better known as The Place Where Bill Murray Led a Conga Line. Amid a boldface-heavy crowd that included Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Naomi Watts, the omnipresent actor took the St. Vincent after-party to the next level by leading a hip-shaking human chain through the venue to the tune of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”—which, in Murray’s case, meant everybody.

Luckee restaurant (Image: Dave Gillespie)
 

WHERE TO GET DIM SUM AND THEN SOME
Luckee
328 Wellington St. W., 416-935-0400
Susur Lee spent his entire career running from traditional Chinese food—then he turned around and opened a dim sum restaurant. No surprise, he makes some of the best char siu, har gow and beef bao around. Capitalizing on its proximity to the Lightbox, Luckee serves TIFF-themed lunch specials that tend to lean on the lighter side, so you won’t lapse into a food coma midway through your afternoon screening.

WHERE THE SUITS LOOSEN UP
Drake One Fifty
150 York St., 416-363-6150
The Drake’s Parisian-inspired financial district outpost is the rare spot where Bay Street suits and tattooed hipsters feel equally at home. The room buzzes late on a mid-week winter night; during TIFF, it’s absolutely off the hook. Last year’s Party in the Core soirée kept tightly packed bodies movin’ till 4 a.m. thanks to local live soul revue the Big Sound and Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning on the decks.

WHERE CELEBS GO INCOGNITO
Opus
37 Prince Arthur Ave., 416-921-3105
This tony Yorkville institution—famous for its seared foie gras and pepper-crusted tuna—was once in the heart of the TIFF hubbub. Now, with the festival’s epicentre shifting south to King West, it’s the place where Hollywood dignitaries go to escape the flashbulbs. Following his onstage interview with Strombo at the Lightbox last year, Al Pacino skipped the after-party to enjoy a private dinner at Opus with girlfriend Lucila Sola.

WHERE MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES
Soho House
192 Adelaide St. W., 416-599-7646
tiff-guide-2015-jon-stewartGetting into this exclusive private members’ club is the hard part. Once you’re in, park at a corner table, sip vodka martinis all evening and gawk at the megawatt stars who flood the building’s three floors during TIFF. It’s where Jon Stewart fêted his 2014 directorial debut, Rosewater, with Gael García Bernal in tow; where Harvey Weinstein and Keira Knightley celebrated The Imitation Game alongside the Kingslayer himself, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau-Lannister; and where Chris Rock attracted a veritable kings of comedy tour—including Stewart, Ben Stiller and SNL’s Jay Pharoah—to toast his film Top Five. The place is so overrun with celebs, it practically instills stargazers with A-lister ennui: while all eyes were fixed on Jake Gyllenhaal hanging out at the bar with Rene Russo at the Nightcrawler party, hardly anyone batted an eye when Chris Evans walked into the room.

WHERE DRAKE IS ON HIS BEST BEHAVIOUR
Sotto Sotto
120 Avenue Rd., 416-962-0011
tiff-guide-2015-drakeBefore it went up in flames last Christmas Day, this landmark Italian restaurant was a perennial dining destination for high rollers—including Drake, who has immortalized it in two songs (“5 a.m. in Toronto” and “Pound Cake”). A mere two months after the blaze, Sotto Sotto was back in business, reopening just two doors north of its original location—which is especially convenient for visiting stars who’ll be gravitating toward the corner of Av and Dav this year out of sheer habit.

WHERE THERE’S A PARTY ON EVERY FLOOR
Storys
11 Duncan St., 416-367-9000
The four-storey, 171-year-old converted warehouse off of King West is home to Byblos, the beloved Middleterranean restaurant that serves punch bowls brimming with a potent mix of spirits, pomegranate syrup and rosewater. Last TIFF, Storys was a multiplex of after-party action, with Hunger Games hunk Josh Hutcherson snuggling up to his Escobar: Paradise Lost co-star Claudia Traisac, indie-flick power couple Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig enjoying a date-night dinner, Anna Kendrick kibbutzing with Harvey Weinstein and Richard Gere, and Al Pacino requiring the full might of his security detail to plow through a ravenous throng of autograph-seekers. (The more conciliatory Ethan Hawke, however, waved off his own bodyguards to mingle with the commoners into the wee hours at the soirée for The Good Kill.)

WHERE TO PUT THE “EAT” IN “RETREAT”
The Good Son
1096 Queen St. W., 416-551-0589
tiff-guide-2015-jennifer-anistonEvery TIFF, celebs desperate for a respite from the selfie-seeking masses and pushy paparazzi will venture away from the eye of the festival storm for a meal in a lower-key outpost. In 2013, it was the Brad Pitt–approved (but ultimately short-lived) Hudson Kitchen on Dundas West. Last year, it was this cozy, antique-laden West Queen West restaurant headed by former Top Chef Canada contender Vittorio Colacitti, whose menu draws equally from French, Japanese, Jamaican and Italian traditions. In addition to hosting the cast dinner for the Kevin Costner/Octavia Spencer vehicle Black and White, the Good Son also welcomed Jennifer Aniston and fiancé Justin Theroux for a three-course meal in honour of her film, Cake, capped by—what else?—miniature, gold leaf–topped cakes.

WHERE THE VIEW CAN’T BE BEAT
Thompson Hotel
550 Wellington St. W., 416-640-7778
tiff-guide-2015-tina-feyThe Thompson is at its best during TIFF, when stars come to take in the killer panorama of the city. As usual, the rooftop was busy last year, hosting J. K. Simmons, Miles Teller and Jason Reitman at the party for Whiplash, but the lobby was equally hopping with an Entertainment Weekly bash that brought out Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Eddie Redmayne. It’s the ultimate after-party destination—the bar stays open until 4 a.m. every night of the festival. And with Colette Grand Café and Bakery now open on the ground floor, you may even run into the odd sunglasses-clad celeb trying to feed their morning hangover with a breakfast on the go.

WHERE TORONTO TURNS INTO PARIS
La Société
131 Bloor St. W., 416-551-9929
For most of the year, Charles Khabouth’s bistro is ground zero for power brokers and socialites. There’s a vibrant Veuve Clicquot display in the main dining room, and the kitchen puts subtle twists on classic bistro dishes (like an escargot accompanied by braised beef cheek and a mustard gelée). But, at TIFF time, the place can jump with the best of Khabouth’s nightclubs. Last year saw appearances from Gary Oldman (a frequent patron, we’re told), Jake Gyllenhaal, Harvey Weinstein, Steven Soderbergh and Adam Sandler, who turned up with wife and kids in tow.

WHERE TIFF TURNS INTO CANNES
The Spoke Club
600 King St. W., 416-368-8448
During TIFF, this hideout for local media types is transformed into Nikki Beach, the French Riviera–themed party concept that invites guests to dress in their finest yacht-club whites and imbibe free-flowing bubbly as bikini-clad models and aerial burlesque performers parade around them. Anna Kendrick and rapper Kardinal Offishall made the scene last year; after the DJs took over for the late shift, loose-limbed Whiplash star Miles Teller hit the floor to dance with himself.

WHERE TO GRAB TAKEOUT BETWEEN JUNKETS
Flock Rotisserie and Greens
330 Adelaide St. W., 647-483-5625
Chef Cory Vitiello’s Harbord Room and THR & Co. are magnets for celebs even when TIFF isn’t happening. So chances are they—or their lunch-ordering assistants—will flock (ahem) to his new quick-service spot, given its proximity to the Lightbox locus. Flock Rotisserie and Greens delivers exactly what the name suggests—chicken and salad—for a healthier alternative to standard takeout fare. Film buffs looking to share a quick pre-show dinner can take advantage of an after-work special that includes a whole rotisserie chicken, a large salad and two sides (steamed acorn squash and rotisserie-roasted sweet potatoes).

WHERE TO INDULGE IN A FRENCH FEAST
Café Boulud and Dbar
60 Yorkville Ave., 416-963-6000
Like many of the stars in town for TIFF, the eponymous restaurant from famed New York chef Daniel Boulud has received a facelift. The once-reserved bistro on the second floor of the Four Seasons has been transformed into a boisterous brasserie, complete with a multi-spit rotisserie and a menu of French comfort food classics (quenelles de brochet, niçoise salad, escargots en persillade) inspired by the family feasts Boulud enjoyed as a child in Lyon. Cap your meal with a visit to Dbar in the lobby, where the people-watching is almost as good as the cocktails—Al Pacino has been known to pop in for a nightcap.

WHERE TO BLOW THE EXPENSE ACCOUNT
One
116 Yorkville Ave., 416-961-9600
tiff-guide-2015-jon-hammMark McEwan’s room at the Hazelton Hotel showcases the film festival’s magic better than any other restaurant in the city. The swishy Yabu Pushelberg–designed space and wraparound patio are packed with stars: at past TIFFs, we’ve seen Jon Hamm knocking back scotch, director Brett Ratner flirting with hostesses and Harvey Weinstein tipping generously. (Jennifer Aniston, Robert Redford and Gerard Butler have also been spotted at the bar.) The food—Siberian caviar, truffled frites, seafood linguine in pinot grigio—is made for diners who treat $40 entrées like cheap eats. And the decadence doesn’t stop at dinner: weekend brunch attracts hard-partying TIFF-goers nursing hangovers with eggs Benny and mimosas.

WHERE TO FEEL LIKE YOU’RE ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Park Hyatt Roof Lounge
4 Avenue Rd., 416-925-1234
Whether for business or pleasure, the place to be is 18 floors up—the Park Hyatt’s glittering rooftop bar still captures the romance of old Hollywood North like nowhere else in the city. It’s also celeb central: Ralph Fiennes, Susan Sarandon and Kevin Kline have all hit the bar over the years, and Colin Firth has been known to close the place well after last call.

WHERE TO AVOID HAVING POPCORN FOR LUNCH
Luma and O&B Canteen
350 King St. W., 647-288-4715
tiff-guide-2015-rachel-mcadamsThe two restaurants in the Lightbox—Luma, the chic dining area on the second floor, and Canteen, the lively café on the ground level—are celebrity HQ (Sarah Polley, Martha Stewart, Adrian Grenier and Rachel McAdams have all been spotted there). Last year, to accompany the films playing upstairs, Luma offered a movie-friendly lunch box featuring sandwiches, salads, macarons and biscotti; Canteen is ideal for a quick between-screening pit stop, with a solid selection of ready-made sandwiches.

WHERE TO INDULGE IN PREMIUM PASTA
Campagnolo
832 Dundas St. W., 416-364-4785
Last year during TIFF, Will Ferrell felt the urge to carb-load after sweating it out on the red carpet for Welcome to Me, his oddball romp with fellow SNL alum Kristen Wiig. So he escaped the downtown TIFF bubble for this relaxed Italian restaurant at Dundas and Euclid. On Instagram, co-owner and chef Craig Harding raved that Ferrell “ate 9 spaghettis”—Harding’s beloved spaghetti all’amatriciana, presumably—which may have been a slight exaggeration (unless he meant nine individual strands of spaghetti, which would also be troubling).

WHERE KING WEST STAYS CLASSY
Buca
604 King St. W., 416-865-1600
Buca is one of the city’s busiest restaurants, but, during TIFF, the crowds quadruple and it becomes a whirlwind of wine and stardust. In past years, Bill Murray, Megan Fox, John Legend and Sandra Bullock have enjoyed Rob Gentile’s delectable Italian food. If the room gets too crowded, you can slip away and sip Campari cocktails at Bar Buca, Gentile’s lower-key snack bar down the street. Or, if you’re up at the Varsity for a screening, follow up your film with a platter of the chef’s signature seafood salami at the newly opened Buca Yorkville.

WHERE TO PUT ON THE RITZ
Toca
181 Wellington St., 416-572-8008
The restaurant and bar at the Ritz is an excellent stargazing destination—the place is a favourite of George Clooney, Diane Keaton and even curmudgeonly celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who once devoured multiple steaks on two consecutive nights while in town with his wife. To celebrate TIFF’s 40th anniversary this year, chef Oliver Glowig is preparing a special menu, and the bar will be serving up film-inspired cocktails.

WHERE TO FORGET ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Edulis
169 Niagara St., 416-703-4222
A seat in Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth’s quaint, candlelit pair of rooms is the toughest reservation in town, thanks to an excellent, ever-changing tasting menu that takes diners on a gourmet tour across the country, accompanied by a short but fascinating wine list. Edulis has bona fide foodie cred (Martha Stewart live-tweeted her meal with photos, and former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl raved about her visit) and is a likely haven for visiting stars seeking refuge from the madding crowd.


Where to Get Pampered

Get the star treatment at these premium spas, salons and gyms

Her Majesty's Pleasure (Image: Lisa Petrole)
 

WHERE TO BE QUEEN FOR A DAY (OR NIGHT)
Her Majesty’s Pleasure
556 King St. W., 416-546-4991
In Toronto, there’s a beauty bar for every occasion, whether it’s a furtive lunch-hour laser treatment or a pre-party preening session with the girls. For the latter, we recommend Her Majesty’s Pleasure, a perfectly enchanting place to get professionally primped—and tactfully tipsy. The ornate shop offers a full list of spa services but feels more like a social club than a salon: it’s open till midnight, and the bar serves a mean blueberry mojito.

WHERE TO GET INTO THE GROOVE
Hard Candy
382 Yonge St., 416-979-1645
tiff-guide-2015-madonnaThe Toronto outpost of Madonna’s nightclub-like gym chain features massive artworks of Madge’s age-defying face and body, a juice bar with drinks named after her songs and, yes, the occasional Madonna tune blaring over the speakers. The big sell, however, is a roster of workouts based on the singer’s own rigorous anti-aging routines—like Electric Yoga, where you can downward-dog to the thump of EDM beats supplied by the gym’s in-house DJ.

WHERE TO MAKE YOUR BROW GO POW!
Winks
70 Yorkville Ave., 2nd flr., 416-777-9465
Beautician Urla Duncan has been engineering Disney princess lashes since opening her niche beauty bar in 2012. More recently, she’s turned her attention to lacklustre brows. Her arch-extension service is a meticulous business: first, she examines and shapes brows to determine which areas need attention; then, she glues dozens of ultra-fine synthetic strands to existing hairs using a special adhesive imported from South Korea. The whole process takes an hour; the thick Cara Ds last about two weeks.

WHERE TO SAVE FACE
The Spa at the Four Seasons
60 Yorkville Ave., 416-963-6006
The 30,000-square-foot spa at the Four Seasons Hotel has raised the city standard for blissed-out beauty days. Bay Streeters pop in for facials laced with gold serums or to take a plunge in an indoor bromine pool featuring an underwater sound system. To mask the effects of non-stop partying and festival-induced sleep deprivation, take advantage of the spa’s TIFF Super Facial special—a 45-minute exfoliation, infusion and oxygenation treatment for $190.

WHERE TO REFRESH YOUR FLESH
W SkinCare
67 Portland St., Ste. 200, 416-599-2711
Elaine Lui, of LaineyGossip and The Social fame, calls Lorinda Zimmerman her “skin whisperer,” and scores of actresses reportedly fly to Toronto to have the beautician plump their skin. During TIFF, her King West clinic will likely be full of Hollywood types trying to fit in a treatment between red carpets. Her signature is the cold laser combo, microdermabrasion followed by low laser therapy ($250). There’s a whole bunch of science behind it, but the takeaway is this: it’s an injection-free fountain of youth.

WHERE TO MAKE YOUR HAIR APPARENT
Blo Blow Dry Bar
180 University Ave., 5th flr., 416-599-4164;
626 King St. W., Ste. 102, 416-703-1256;
plus seven other GTA locations

tiff-guide-2015-selena-gomezThis blow-dry chain’s star quotient runs from its client list (which includes Kim Cattrall and Selena Gomez) to the staff (Gwyneth Paltrow is its current creative director). Blo is renowned for its no-frills blowout, which is really all anyone needs for a quick pre-movie makeover. Choose from seven styles, such as the aptly named Red Carpet (smooth, with lots of body) or the Holly Would (curls and bounce galore), for $38.

WHERE TO RECHARGE
Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt
4 Avenue Rd., 416-926-2389
The Park Hyatt isn’t the city’s newest or shiniest hotel, but its spa is one of the best. It’s also one of the most obliging for mid-festival refreshers. For TIFF, the Stillwater is offering the Red Carpet Rescue Wrap, which includes a 90-minute body scrub, wrap and 30-minute massage for $240.

WHERE TO STRETCH IT OUT
Barre3
325 King St. W., Ste. 201, 416-519-9638
The Toronto practitioners of this American fitness phenomenon teach an elegant combination of yoga, Pilates and ballet, and it’s conveniently located just a few doors down from the Lightbox. Barre3 already partners with TIFF year-round to offer staff and members a discount on 60-minute sessions. But throughout the festival it’s offering a VIP package that includes three workouts and a swag bag featuring a Mason jar water bottle and a core ball for $65.

WHERE TO GET BUZZED
Axe and Hatchet
101 Yorkville Avenue, Ste. 12B, 416-901-3634
Dante Perrone’s man cave is an elevated version of the classic barbershop—though there’s a striped pole swirling out front, the interior is far sleeker than most. The services, however, are standard: like his father and grandfather before him, Perrone offers traditional trims, fades and high-and-tights (albeit for a very contemporary $50 a cut).


Where to Go All Out

Top up your TIFF experience with these ostentatious amenities

The Treasure Chest (Image: courtesy of The Treasure Chest)
 

WHERE TO LIVE OUT YOUR OLD HOLLYWOOD FANTASIES
The Treasure Chest
18 St. Thomas St., 416-971-9666, ext. 6503
Samantha Michelle’s leopard-print nook in the Windsor Arms has the opulent air of a historic Tinseltown theatre. The 25-year-old actress and DJ stocks her shelves with pretty print dresses, sleek fur coats and other vintage staples, as well as some spectacular one-of-a-kind pieces, like an intricately beaded flapper dress for $680. It’s a virtuous extravagance: 10 per cent of all sales go to a revolving list of worthy causes.

WHERE TO FIND A LUXE TUX AND CHIC SNEAKS
Holt Renfrew Men
100 Bloor St. W., 416-960-2929
Holt’s first boutique for men will no doubt be a popular pre-festival destination for lavish lads seeking both red carpet formal-wear and street-casual after-party attire. There’s an enormous footwear boutique on the first level, where guys can get a complimentary shoe shine as they browse classic brogues or trendy Lanvin sneakers. On the second floor, shoppers will find Prada suits alongside cozy Belstaff jackets and J Brand denim. Plus, there’s a unique tailoring suite: after over a century on Wellington Street, Toronto tailor Walter Beauchamp set up shop within the new space to offer men a completely bespoke experience.

WHERE THE SYMPHONY COMES TO YOU
Pocket Concerts
647-896-8295
Plucking musicians from the TSO, COC and National Ballet Orchestra, Pocket Concerts stage private performances in clients’ homes. Each concert is a mix-and-match operation: one show in the Beach featured a harpist, flutist and violist playing works by R. Murray Schafer and Claude Debussy; another in the Annex included a soprano, pianist and clarinetist tinkling through frou-frou pieces by Schubert and cabaret numbers by Kurt Weill. For TIFF-related events, they can prepare a special program of film scores and movie-themed arrangements. From $1,400.

WHERE A DOG’S LIFE IS BETTER THAN YOURS
Park9
9 Meteor Dr., 416-679-9599
This ain’t no basement kennel—it’s a 14,000-square-foot resort for dogs. Park9 offers overnight boarding for all sizes and ages, with luxurious amenities like Kuranda beds (the canine equivalent of a Hästens), HVAC filters (for asthmatic pooches), flat-screen TVs, a playground and pool, and private webcams so you can check in while you’re away. Located just minutes from Pearson, it’s the perfect place for incoming TIFF talent to park their precious pooches before descending into festival madness downtown. From $59 a night.

WHERE TO PIMP YOUR RIDE
Affinity Luxury Car Rental
1110 Dupont St., 416-724-0724
At TIFF, the stars roll up to premieres in sponsored Audi SUVs, but those wheels are strictly utilitarian. Affinity Luxury Car Rental delivers eye-popping exotics like BMW I-8s and Porsche 9-11s to your hotel, or they’ll arrange a discreet pickup at the airport (a popular option for camera-phobic celebs). Daily rental rates range from $100 for a BMW 3 Series vehicle up to $1,500 for a Lamborghini LP560 Spider.

WHERE TO STAR IN YOUR OWN CAR CHASE
Trump Hotel
325 Bay St., 416-306-5800
tiff-guide-2015-vin-dieselIf you can afford to stay at the Trump—where the cheapest room is $500—then you needn’t settle for merely watching movies during TIFF. Why not live inside one? The hotel’s Movie Hero Stunt Driving Experience package allows you and 13 other aspiring Vin Diesels to experience a four-hour crash course in fast, furious pedal-pushing techniques, like J-turn parallel parking and alleyway 180s. Paintball-shooting chase cars can be added to the mix for extra runnin’-from-the-Pigs authenticity. From $3,000 per person.

WHERE TO BE THE BELLE OF THE BALL
Rent Frock Repeat
35 Golden Ave., Ste. 104, 1-855-376-2548
The trouble with movie premieres is you can’t wear the same thing twice. Thankfully, Rent Frock Repeat loans out high-end dresses—from the likes of Christian Siriano and Badgley Mischka—by the evening, eliminating the need for a frantic, Visa-busting, last-minute Holt’s run. This year, they’ll be offering TIFF packages of two ($225), three ($295) or four ($345) rentals, as selected through an hour-long private fitting session or online consultation. And since the store carries the same dresses in multiple sizes, it maintains a running list of who’s rented what gowns for which event, thereby minimizing your chances of being upstaged by a red-carpet doppelgänger.

WHERE TO REDRESS THE DRESS
Creeds
390 Dupont St., 416-923-2500
This luxe laundry service offers free pickup and delivery, and staff who won’t rest until your wine-stained silk dress looks like it just came off the runway. A handbag-cleaning regimen restores last season’s it bag to perfection. And, especially convenient for time-crunched TIFFers, they offer same-day service, provided items can be dropped off before 10 a.m. and picked up after 5 p.m.

(Images: Downey Jr. by Sergeant Michael Connors; All other headshots by Getty Images)