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. It is the headquarters for the Toronto International Film Festival.

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. TIFF Bell Lightbox is a five-storey structure that features five cinemas, two restaurants, major exhibitions and galleries, a gift shop, rooftop terrace, and learning studios. 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, Stanley Kubrick, and most recently, Andy Warhol.

Financial support

TIFF is a non-for-profit organization that generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC.

Festival Tower

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.[6]

See also


  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 27 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Welcome Home to Festival Tower". Festival Tower. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 

External links