TIFF Bell Lightbox

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TIFF Bell Lightbox
Toronto International Film Festival logo.svg
Established 2009 (2009)
Location 350 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Public transit access 504 King
St. Andrew
510 Spadina
Website tiff.net
Festival Tower
General information
Type Theatre, Residential, Retail
Location Corner of King Street &
John Street
Toronto, Ontario
Completed September 12, 2010
Antenna spire 157 m (515 ft)
Roof 152 m (499 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 46
Design and construction
Architect Bruce Kuwabara of KPMB Architects
Developer Toronto International Film Festival Group
Daniels Corporation & the Reitman Family
Main contractor PCL Constructors Canada

TIFF Bell Lightbox is a cultural centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located in the first five floors of the Bell Lightbox and Festival Tower on the north west corner of King Street and John Street. It is the headquarters for the Toronto International Film Festival.


TIFF Bell Lightbox opened in 2010.

The entrance for the structure's 46-storey tower of condominiums is on John Street, set back from the much smaller 19th-century buildings along King Street. TIFF Bell Lightbox cinema complex, the Toronto International Film Festival offices, a ground-floor restaurant and a roof-top terrace are housed in a five-storey structure on King. The five-screen cinema complex also includes a film reference library, galleries and workshops.[1]

During construction, crews found artifacts belonging to York General Hospital which was located on the site in 1829.[2]


Building detail
TIFF Bell Lightbox at night

The podium is a five-storey complex that forms the base of the Bell Lightbox and Festival Tower.[3] It is the new headquarters for the Toronto International Film Festival and contains five cinemas of various sizes, a three-storey public atrium, two galleries, three learning studios, a centre for students and scholars, a bistro, a restaurant, a lounge, a gift shop, and a rooftop terrace.

The theatres present specially-curated programming, as well as some new releases. Some of the films presented tie-in with exhibitions, and retrospectives of actors or filmmakers. The extensive reference library and archives of film, which is open to the public, includes publications and archival movies, as well as research and study space.

Since 2010, TIFF Bell Lightbox has been the home of the festival, marking its permanent move from Yorkville to King West. Future plans include a "Cinema Tower" on the north side on the block, which will contain five additional theatres. The area also includes prominent venues for the festival, such as Roy Thomson Hall.

TIFF Bell Lightbox entrance with TTC streetcar at right

The complex opened officially on September 12, 2010 with a block party.[4] Bruce McDonald's Trigger was the first film screened at the theatre.[5]


The galleries host exhibitions related to film and art history. The fourth floor gallery is free to the public, while the larger main gallery on the first level hosts large paid exhibitions. The first exhibition was the MoMA's monograph on Tim Burton, subsequent exhibits have included retrospectives of Federico Fellini, Grace Kelly, James Bond, David Cronenberg, and most recently, Stanley Kubrick.

Financial support[edit]

The cost of building TIFF Bell Lightbox was offset by financial support from Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the King and John Festival Corporation, RBC, BlackBerry, Visa, the Copyright Collective of Canada, the Slaight Family Foundation, The Daniels Corporation, NBC Universal Canada, the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, the Harbinger Foundation, Mackenzie Financial, CIBC, and BMO.[6]

Festival Tower[edit]

Festival Tower was developed by The Daniels Corporation and designed by Toronto-based architectural firm Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB). TIFF Bell Lightbox is the home of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), while Festival Tower contains condominium residences. The project was conceived in partnership by the Toronto International Film Festival Group and the King and John Festival Corporation.[7]

2011 falling glass incident[edit]

Glass from the 27th-floor of the condominium tower fell to the ground at around 7:30 p.m. August 2, 2011. Police closed a section of John Street as a precaution, and pedestrian traffic along the side of the building was limited the next day. This incident happened just days after a similar incident at the Murano Condos at 37 Grosvenor Street.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hume, David (15 September 2010). "Lightbox illuminates city's future". Toronto Star. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Toronto General Hospital". Archeological Services, Inc. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  3. ^ "TIFF Bell Lightbox / KPMB Architects". Archdaily.com. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
  4. ^ Frenette, Brad (31 August 2010). "TIFF to open Bell Lightbox with a block party and a few Polaris Prize nominees". National Post. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  5. ^ Bradshaw, James (11 September 2010). "How the film Trigger underwent a sex change". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  6. ^ "TIFF Announces $170 Million Impact On Toronto's Economy" (Press release). TIFF. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  7. ^ "Welcome Home to Festival Tower". Festival Tower. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  8. ^ Fedio, Chloé (3 August 2011). "More glass falls from balconies". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 

External links[edit]