#TIFF21 (Toronto International Film Festival) – What It’s Like This Year?


The iconic Roy Thomson Hall

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has always been my favourite event of the year.

Why is it my favourite? Well…I enjoyed attending all the VIP parties, seeing celebrities and the city is suddenly all LIT up. It’s vibrant, the city feels so much ALIVE! Mind you, I am the 1st to admit that during TIFF, I don’t really watch any films, unless the directors or PRs invite me, otherwise, I am just focusing on attending all the cool parties and by the way, last call is always 4:00 am, which I appreciate a good time.

This iconic tiff signage usually is being placed on the street near University and Wellington for people to take photos but this year, it’s being located at the entrance of the TIFF Lightbox.

Anyhow, due to the pandemic, TIFF20 had pretty much cancelled many events and parties. It was mainly virtual and with some people being able to watch the films via Drive-In at the Ontario Place. But literally no super stars or talents were on hand during TIFF20, especially celebs cannot pass through the border due to the strict health and safety regulations.

There are two drive-in locations. One is the VISA drive-in that is located closer to the Lakeshore West across Hotel X. And the other drive-in is TIFF x RBC which is located further inside beside the Bud Stage.

Fast forward to this year, I have decided to take a stroll around downtown and see what it’s like for TIFF21. Despite the hybrid setup this year (in-person screening + virtual digital screening), TIFF21 is still not the same as prior to the pandemic. Less fanfare, super low key and just not the same. Sadly, I have to admit that TIFF21 was pretty dead, just like a ghost town. There are no road closure for people to walk around the streets. There are no kiosks or people giving out samples. There are absolutely no displays or red carpet setup at the outdoor open space beside Roy Thomson Hall. It’s completely dead. If I didn’t tell you that TIFF is here, you wouldn’t notice that this event is happening.

Usually, the side entrance of Roy Thomson Hall is filled with movie goers or people who wants to stargaze. Instead, as you can see, there are literally no one around.

But let me inform you that TIFF21 is happening from September 9 to September 18, 2021.

Anyhow, let me show you some of the photos that I took while roaming around areas that were once the hotspots for TIFF.

I am hopeful and strongly believe that when TIFF comes around in 2022 and beyond, it would be back in business with road closures, kiosks, interactive experiences, red carpet for celebs to meet & greet their fans. Until then, I miss TIFF!

There were 10-12 fans who stood outside the barricade trying to see stars from afar outside the Roy Thomson Hall. But again, it’s not even close to what it once was back in the good ol’ days.

No massive fans standing across the Princess of Wales. Just plain quiet and few people around the area.



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