TIFF 2017 - Festival Street and other important information

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of our city's most important arts and cultural festivals, is just around the corner. This year, TIFF will be hosting its fourth annual Festival Street, a pedestrian promenade on King Street West, with events from Thursday, September 7, through Sunday, September 10. A portion of King Street will be closed for Festival Street to support the free pedestrian programming and ensure the safety of the large crowds who attend the opening days of TIFF.

I have worked closely with the TTC, Transportation Services, Economic Development and Culture, and TIFF to discuss the details of the closure over the past several months. We have worked hard to ensure that an extensive communication and mitigation plan is put in place to inform residents of the closure and the re-routing of the 504 King Streetcar and 514 Cherry Streetcar, as well as to minimize the impact on residents, road, and transit users.

Festival Street Details

Beginning at 5 a.m. on September 7, King Street will be fully closed to vehicles between University Avenue and Peter Street, and John Street will be closed between King Street and Wellington Street. During this period, only westbound traffic will be permitted on King Street between Peter Street and Spadina Avenue. Both streets will re-open at 5 a.m. on September 11.

Motorized traffic will not be able to cross the Festival Street closure on intersecting streets such as Widmer Street or Simcoe Street. The cycle tracks on Simcoe Street will remain open and unobstructed, and people with bicycles will be asked to walk across the King Street intersection for safety among the large number of pedestrians.

Arrangements are being made for buildings affected by these closures and they will be notified directly. Please contact my office if you have any questions about your building or business.

Festival Street programming will include free outdoor concerts and film screenings. You will also be able to enjoy expanded patios along Restaurant Row. For more information, please visit www.tiff.net/tiff

TTC Service Plan

The TTC has worked to create a diversion plan that addresses some issues we have seen in past years and better supports transit riders along the King route.


The 504 King streetcar will be diverted around the closure. Westbound streetcars from Broadview Station will divert north on York St., west on Queen St., then south on Spadina Ave. and back to King St. to continue the westbound journey.

Eastbound streetcars from Dundas West Station will divert north on Spadina Ave., east on Queen St., then south on Church St. and back to King to continue the eastbound journey. 

Supplemental 504 King buses that normally operate during rush hours will divert using Richmond and Adelaide streets between Spadina and University.

The 514 Cherry streetcar will follow the same diversion route as the 504 King streetcar, outlined above.

Notices are being posted in subway stations, at affected transit stops, and on the TTC's digital information screens. Regular audio reminders will be announced in subway stations. Information will also be published in an advertisement in the "24" newspaper. TTC Ambassadors will be on the street to remind rides, and to help during the four days of Festival Street.

Please visit the TTC's website to view a map and detailed description of all the route diversions, including overnight services, as well as Wheel-Trans service changes. 

During the remainder of the festival, from Monday, September 11 to Sunday, September 17, King Street will be open to general traffic including streetcars. For the safety of crowds during red carpet events, Toronto Police may determine that is necessary to temporarily close King Street. Dedicated TTC supervisors will be on site during headline red carpet events to ensure that any temporary diversions are handled smoothly for TTC riders.

Temporary Lane Occupations

As the Festival approaches there are several partial lane closures and traffic impacts that are important to be aware of as we plan to move around the neighbourhood during the Festival. Technical load-in has already started at some venues and load-out can be expected to continue for up to a week after the end of TIFF. Pick-ups, drop-offs, and parking will mainly take place only during the Festival, from September 7 to 17.

Ryerson Theatre (43 Gerrard St E)

Gerrard Street: north and south curb lanes, Yonge to Church, for parking, drop-offs, load-in and load-out.

Elgin Theatre (189 Yonge St)

Victoria Street: west curb lane, Queen to Shuter, for parking

Shuter Street: south curb lane, Yonge to Victoria, for load-in and parking

Yonge Street: east and west curb lanes, Shuter to Queen, for drop-offs and crowd control

Yonge Street: possible temporary full closure for safety during red carpets only, under supervision of Police

Scotiabank Theatre (259 Richmond St W)

Richmond Street: south curb lane, John to Widmer, for drop-offs, line-ups, and crowd control

Widmer Street: east or west curb lanes, for parking

Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas St W)

Beverley Street: east curb lane, Dundas to Stephanie, for drop-offs and pick-ups

McCaul Street: west curb lane, Dundas to Stephanie, for drop-offs and pick-ups

Glenn Gould Studio (250 Front St W)

John Street: east curb lane, Front to Wellington, for drop-off and load-in/out

Front Street: north curb lane, Simcoe to John, for drop-off and load-in/out

Roy Thompson Hall (60 Simcoe St)

Wellington Street: north curb lane, University to John, for parking

King Street, north and south curb lanes, John to Simcoe, for parking

Simcoe Street, east or west curb lanes (bicycle lane to remain unobstructed), King to Wellington, for pick-ups and drop-offs

Princess of Wales (300 King St W)

Pearl Street: for pick-ups and parking

King Street: north and south curb lanes, John to Duncan, for drop-offs and crowd control

King Street: possible temporary full closure for safety during red carpets only, under supervision of Police

Duncan Street: east and west curb lanes, King to Adelaide, for holding drop-off vehicles prior to red carpets

TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St W)

King Street: north and south curb lanes, Widmer to John, for drop-offs and crowd control

John Street, west and east curb lanes, King north to rear lane, for drop-offs and parking

Widmer Street, east and west curb lanes (possible temporary full road closure) for security during events and press conferences