Kalya is committed to encouraging the exploration of this beautiful planet while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In our latest travel guide, we share tips on how to enjoy one of the world’s premiere film festivals, the Toronto International Film Festival, while staying active and eating responsibly.
TIFF is a must for any cinephile. The film festival, now it in its fifth decade, features the best the film industry has to offer, from the stunningly shot and acted Platform prize winner, Sweet Country, an Australian period piece focusing on the aboriginal experience in the 1920’s, to the Grolsch People’s Choice prize winner, 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a darkly comic character driven drama surely set for Oscar glory. But, when you’re not crowding the red carpet for a glimpse of your favourite celebrity, partaking in shenanigans on festival street, or indulging in movie marathons at the Princess of Wales Theatre or Roy Thompson Hall, you can balance out your TIFF experience with these healthy tips:
- Stay active while enjoying the films: Sitting in a darkened theatre may not be the most active way to spend your time, even if it is thoroughly enjoyable. Find your balance by walking as much as you can, to and from venues and between screenings. Also, the lines for screenings tend to be incredibly long. While waiting, treat yourself to a bit of standing yoga to keep yourself flexible and relaxed. Think tree pose, mountain pose and the like. Finally, bring your own healthy snacks. Instead of the traditional buttery popcorn, pack your own homemade kale chips, nuts, fruit or other low-calorie, fresh and tasty snacking options. Not only is this a healthy option, it is also a budget-friendly one. Finally, relax and enjoy the intellectual and visual stimulation of your festival selection.
- Take a green break: When you need a break from the silver screen, head outside for an invigorating walk. Even if it’s just a sidewalk jaunt down one of Toronto’s many busy streets, take a moment to enjoy the fresh air and scenery. Take it up a notch, by temporarily escaping the urban playground with a visit to High Park, an expansive natural park in the heart of the city. With it’s beautiful hiking trails, dog-friendly areas, playgrounds and lakefront view, High Park is the perfect counter-programming to your film festival marathons.
- Leave the city behind: Another brilliant way to spend your off-duty festival time is a day trip to Center Island. The island, only minutes away by the easily accessible and affordable ferry (see schedule here) or water taxi, is the perfect destination for an afternoon picnic. Stock up on your favourite healthy snacks at the local Whole Foods Market beforehand, and enjoy your afternoon meal overlooking Lake Ontario in the company of some incredibly amiable water fowl. Follow this up with an adventurous, cardio-packed biking tour of the island courtesy of the local bike rentals, or a walk along the beach (you have your choice of traditional or clothing optional zones). Finally, finish your day with a tour of the scenic marina, before heading back to city life.
- Choose sustainability: There is no more classic combination than dinner and a movie. And, there is no better place to indulge your pre- or post-film appetite than David Chang’s Momofuku. With locations in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas, Momofuku is a necessary culinary experience when visiting T.O., not just because its noodle bar menu boasts a mouth-watering and memorable ramen soup, but also because the restaurant takes pride in its sustainable practices. Momofuku sources its ingredients from local farms and fisheries with responsible practices. If that wasn’t reason enough to visit, there is always the temptation of dessert at Milk Bar, Momofuku’s affiliated bakery, featuring award-winning chef Christina Tosi’s innovative take on sweet creations. The birthday cake truffles are the perfect combination of European tradition and North American taste, all in one mouth-watering little package.
Additional photography by Natalia Manay