Cannes may still be the bigger name, but if you’re after Oscar buzz and the very best of independent cinema, everyone knows that Toronto International Film Festival is your only choice. Many film lovers from across North America will be road tripping to Canada’s most populous city
for the event, which kicks off on the 10th of September 2015, and in an exciting development organisers have just released information on what this year’s ticket packages look like.
The packages won’t be available until the 29th of July unless you’re a TIFF Member (July 15th) or a Visa cardholder (July 22nd) but in the meantime movie buffs can salivate and debate over which deal is the best for them. The ticket packages include daytime, evening and weekend options. Of course, if you want to purchase your tickets on a screening by screening basis you can - but with so many great films to see and individual adult tickets set to sell at $25 each, most would be better off opting for a package deal. Daytime packs, for example, are priced at $250 for 20 tickets, while a deal that gives you a little more wiggle room, the Regular Flex Pack, costs $200 for ten.
In the meantime, while you bemoan the fact that tickets wouldn’t be available for another month, why not be proactive and figure out what else you want to do while you’re in town? Of course if you’re a Toronto native you know better than anybody how to enjoy Canada’s biggest city, but for those booking flights or renting a car
for the September occasion this quick guide to Toronto’s highlights may just come in handy.
The capital of Ontario is one of Canada’s most culturally rich cities, the home of a vibrant theatre scene, top class art exhibitions and an eclectic array of festivals. The Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto’s Downtown Grange Park district is a must-see destination. With over 80,000 works in its vast collection, stretching from the 1st century to the present day, it’s heaven for the discerning lover of art. The Royal Ontario Museum is also worth a look - it’s one of North America’s largest museums and includes such diverse collections as dinosaur bones, Roman antiquities and Canadiana.
Food & Drink
While any large city will have its share of excellent restaurants, Toronto has one or two epicurean highlights that stand out from the bunch. The Toronto Food & Wine Festival starts on September 18th featuring a range of celebrity chefs and more fine vino and delicious eatables than you can shake a stick at. If you’re more of a beer than wine person, Steam Whistle Brewery is the place for you. Take a guided tour of the brewery and sample their signature craft Pilsner beer. Make sure to bring ID with you if you look youngish, and turn up early if you plan to take the tour on Friday, Saturday or Sunday - it’s first come, first served and the tour is very popular.
Just because you’re in the heart of a huge city doesn’t mean that you can’t bask in the beauty of nature. Toronto
has more than 1,600 public parks and numerous trails and nature walks. Visit Don Valley Brick Works to see how the city transformed a thriving industrial centre into one of the greenest spaces in Toronto. Walk through maple-tree woodland and explore more than 10 km of natural surface trails in Crothers Woods. Go from garden to ravine to oak savannah in the massive 161 hectare High Park. The choice is yours.
So really, there’s no need fret about the Toronto International Film Festival seeming so far away. Just start planning your trip to Toronto and the time will fly. If you have some time to spare, you could explore Canada's East coast lovely cities like Ottawa
. In case you want to learn more about the Canadian film industry, pay a visit to Vancouver
, also known as the "Hollywood of the North".