Reporting live from the Toronto International Film Festival, ever buzzy as usual, here are my top five must do’s — from fashion shows to films — at this year’s festivities:
1. Rock Out at Bungalow 8 Pop-Up — Hosted by Amy Sacco, high priestess of nightlife and the subject of this month’s Travel Curator Salon Q&A, this pop-up on the Thompson Toronto’s sexy rooftop offers the best of Bungalow 8’s sleek atmosphere. Tonight is the last night, but no worries, the party doesn’t stop here. Definitely check out Sacco’s latest NYC venture, her gastropub No. 8 in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, when the TIFF tornado winds down.
2. Watch The Master — The most buzzed about film at this year’s festival is without a doubt this latest flick from Paul Thomas Anderson. It’s loosely based on Scientology and stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as an enigmatic cult leader and Joaquin Phoenix as his brainwashed right hand. Don’t hold your breath for a Tom Cruise sighting.
3. Brunch at One — Nurse your festival hangover over mimosas at One, the bustling Yabu Pushelberg-designed dining room at the Hazelton Hotel. Its wraparound patio is a sure-fire bet for star sightings, so you might just catch Ryan Gosling indulging in some eggs Benedict at the next table over.
4. Catch Peaches at The Drake — TIFF marks the start of the international awards season, with the year’s top films premiering daily. Controversial performer Peaches (whose risqué music was featured in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, among others) gets in on the act, debuting her first feature Peaches Does Herself at the festival and celebrating with an after-hours performance at Toronto’s artsiest hotel, The Drake (Sept. 14). I recommend wearing leather.
5. Unwind at The Harbord Room — A bit under the radar, this chic bistro is the place to go when you want to hide from celebrity autograph seekers and photogs on the hunt for Kristen Stewart. A good place to see some serious industry players (hello, David Cronenberg) and take comfort in high-style but down-home fare (delish burgers and beers).
For more of my tips on how to navigate Toronto — during and beyond the festival — check out the latest “Get Cultured” issue of The Travel Curator.