On Sunday, TIFF Bell Lightbox took centre-stage as thousands of film buffs, members of the press, TIFF organizers, politicos, assorted luminaries, and ordinary Torontonians descended on King Street West and John Street for its long-anticipated and historic grand opening. A huge street party was held as the doors to this internationally-unprecedented cultural facility devoted entirely to film were flung open to the general public for the first time. Never missing a beat, Urban Toronto was there to catch all the action.

Ribbon-cutting and press coverage.

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Image by Interchange42

The crush of media.

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Image by Interchange42

TIFF CEO and co-director Piers Handling cutting the ribbon. To his left are Michelle Maheux, TIFF Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, and Noah Cowan, Artistic Director of TIFF Bell Lightbox. To Handling's immediate right is Joan Cohl, wife of the late Dusty Cohl, one of the founders of TIFF. To her right are filmmaker Jason Reitman and TIFF founder Bill Marshall. Also visible are Councillors Kyle Rae and Adam Vaughan. Other notable ribbon-cutting participants include TIFF founder Henk van der Kolk, Susan Michaels of the Reitman Family, and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

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Ontario Culture Minister Michael Chan is at the far left next to Cllr Kyle Rae. 

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Image by Interchange42

CP24 reporter George Lagogianes interviews filmmaker Ivan Reitman. Agi Mandel of the Reitman family is visible to his immediate left and Cllr Kyle Rae to his right. 

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Piers Handling talks with Jason Reitman.

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Image by Interchange42

Doors open to the Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg-designed complex. 

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Image by Interchange42

Cake-cutting ceremony inside TIFF Bell Lightbox. 

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Image by Interchange42


The gift shop replete with cinema-related non-fiction books and TIFF-branded products. 

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Image by Interchange42

A view toward one of two gallery spaces at TIFF Bell Lightbox, this one featuring the Essential Cinema exhibit.

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‘Essential Cinema’ opens with ‘Hauntings I’ by Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, which invokes the ghosts of cinema lost with eleven projections of cuttings from supposed-cinematic masterpieces never realized. 

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 ‘Essential Cinema’ continues with a celebration of realized cinematic masterpieces, with costumes, props, posters, music samples, film stills, and other artefacts from the top 100 films of all time as identified by Toronto filmgoers and TIFF programmers. 

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Image by Interchange42

The Essential Cinema exhibit is on until October 23, 2010 to be replaced in November by The Burton Collection, a compilation of drawings, sculptures, and videos by filmmaker Tim Burton. 

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Street party.

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Image by Interchange42

LUMA Restaurant on the second floor of TIFF Bell Lightbox, with outdoor terrace and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking King and John. 

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Image by Interchange42

Night falls on TIFF Bell Lightbox.

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Image by Interchange42

Image by Interchange42

No longer an aloof architectural object, TIFF Bell Lightbox now is fully animated as the beating heart of one of the world’s pre-eminent film festivals and film communities. 

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Image by Interchange42

Image by Interchange42

Luma above, Canteen below.

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The sparkling beacon atop Festival Tower announces the arrival of TIFF Bell Lightbox. 

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Tomorrow, Urban Toronto’s red-carpet tour of this unique, hybrid cultural institution-movie house continues inside. So, stay tuned!

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Image by Interchange42

Related Companies:  Isotherm Engineering Ltd., Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, Kirkor Architects Planners, KPMB Architects, Mike Niven Interior Design, Montana Steele, NAK Design Strategies, tcgpr (The Communications Group), The Daniels Corporation