Toronto: Top 10 Places to Stalk Celebs at TIFF 2009
This year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) boasts one of the most stellar celebrity lineups in years. Over the course of the next ten days, we hope to see George Clooney and Matt Damon racing their Bentleys down Yonge Street, Megan Fox and Natalie Portman drunk skinny-dipping in Lake Ontario, and Michael Douglas and Michael Caine playing Backgammon in High Park. But most likely we’ll be awkwardly stalking them from across the street with the other plebeians. Here are your best bets at joining the fun.
● Ultra Supper Club (Entertainment District) – Last year Lindsay Lohan hosted a party at this uber-luxe supper club, while Paris Hilton puked in the bathroom; this summer, Perez Hilton got some much-needed Boom Boom Pow from Will.I.Am and his cronies on the endless patio. So what to expect at this year’s fest? Well Hugh Hefner’s in town, and Toronto is full of women who will do anything to be famous. We smell a party! ● Amber (Yorkville) – One of the few actual party joints in Yorkville proper. Its sleek design and overt South Beach appeal will make it the destination of choice for libation-seeking glitterati. For your sake, we hope you know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy. That, or you’re Matt Damon. ● One Restaurant at The Hazelton Hotel (Yorkville) – When Susur Lee packed his bags and headed for the Big Apple, Marc McEwan became the only genuine celebrity chef left in town. This is his new spot. And if there’s one thing celebs love more than hookers and heroin, its hot restaurants. Expect major star power. ● The Drake Hotel (West Queen West) – This Queen West landmark is a year-long battleground for local artists, musicians, and anyone else with a sleeve tattoo. But when TIFF rolls into town it becomes the go-to destination for stars looking to escape the unrelenting glare of Yorkville. Customized rooms, free-spirited menu, and multi-level partying buoyed by a fest-long 4am last call are perfect for the alt-celeb. Oprah, we’re talking to you. ● Sweaty Betty’s (Ossington) – This premier Toronto dive bar is too far off the beaten path for most stars, but for those who know, it’s the only place you’ll see Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page, and Werner Herzog making out in a corner. Oh, and the name is super fun to say! ● Sassafraz (Yorkville) – If Toronto’s Yorkville district is like Beverly Hills during TIFF, then this sunny bistro is The Ivy. Megan Fox reportedly rented a condo nearby, so expect to see her there for lunch, while Brian Austin Green lurks with the paparazzi outside. ● Bistro 990 (Yonge and Bloor) – This is the granddaddy of celeb hangouts during the fest, and has been for years. Even with the influx of contemporary restaurants popping up all over the city, and looking to make their mark on TIFF, Bistro 990 will always be the gold standard for star-gazing. So while Megan Fox and Natalie Portman kick it everywhere else, you should come here and eat Magret de canard with Norman Jewison and his dad. ● Jezebel (Queen West) – If Baz Lurhman’s living room got drunk and had sex with Rob Zombie’s living room, they’d give birth to this new burlesque club located in the up and-coming hipster-centric Ossington hood. Rumor has it Charlotte Gainesbourg and Willem Defoe will be having a self-mutilation party here some time during the fest. No cover! ● Lobby (Bloor and Yonge) – You know your grandmother that gets ignored all year, until your birthday comes around? Suddenly you start visiting her, because maybe she’ll write you a check, right? Well during TIFF, Lobby is your old, senile grandmother, and she misses you terribly. ● The Windsor Arms Hotel (Yorkville) – Most celeb-hunters will be parked outside this grand, but discreet hotel — which is viewed by many as the unofficial headquarters of the festival — for 10 days straight. Mom, please come home. I’m hungry, and George Clooney wants nothing to do with you.