Accessibility at TIFF

Accessibility
at TIFF

Here's how we're making it easier to watch films with us.


TIFF strives to be accessible to all our audiences. We work closely with our accessibility stakeholders to help inform best accessibility practices and to provide welcoming and inclusive film-going experiences.

See TIFF’s Accessibility Policy and Multi-Year Accessibility Plan 2022–2026 to learn more about TIFF’s commitments.

We encourage you to review the below information in order to plan your visit in advance and to make the most of your visit and film-going experience.

If you require any of the below information in a different format, please reach out to TIFF’s Call Centre, open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, at 416-599-2033 or 1-888-258-8433.

Exterior shot of TIFF Lightbox captured in slow motion with light trails of the streetcar passing by

How we’re making TIFF Lightbox more accessible

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Accessible Seating

Accessible seating locations are available in all cinemas at TIFF Lightbox, with access by elevator and escalator.

To book accessible seating, please call our Call Centre, open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, at 416-599-2033 or 1-888-258-8433. Seating is limited and cannot be guaranteed; it is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Support Persons and Companion Seating

All support persons are welcome. Support persons will not be charged for a ticket but must have one. Accessible and companion seating must be booked over the phone. Our Call Centre is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm at 416-599-2033 or 1-888-258-8433.

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Barrier-free Physical Access

There may be lineups at Box Office, Concessions, or as you enter our cinemas. If you are unable to wait in line, please speak to a TIFF Front of House staff member for assistance.

Lobby Passes are available for the Festival; see page 4 of the TIFF Festival Venue Accessibility Guide (PDF | Word) for more details.

Barrier-free washrooms are also available on every level of our building.

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Assistive Devices and Features

The accessibility features we offer at our cinemas are: Assisted Listening, Audio Description, and Closed Captions, and Open Captions on occasion.

Assistive Sound Features

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Assisted Listening

Who is it for? Those with hearing loss
How does it work? Amplifies the film sound through headhpones
What device is use? Wirelesss receiver with earbud, headphone, or headset. Neck loop option available if requested
When can it be used? Assisted Listening is available for all films and all venues except Cinema 7

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Assistive Sound Features

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Audio Desciption

Who is it for? Blind and partially sighted people
How does it work? Narrates description of action on the screen through headphones
What device is use? Wirelesss receiver (and headphones, if requested), which can be requested at Box Office or from Front of House staff
When can it be used? Only designated films formatted for Descriptive Sound. See these films to learn which content is available with Descriptive Sound, or call TIFF's Call Centre at 416-599-2033 or 1-888-258-8433

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Assistive Sound Features

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Closed Captions

Who is it for? Deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing
How does it work? Displays dialogue and audio cues as text on personal device
What device is use? CaptiView personal viewing device, which can be requested at Box Office or from Front of House staff
When can it be used? Only designated films formatted for Closed Captions. See these films to learn which films and content is available with Closed Captions

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Assistive Sound Features

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Open Captions

Who is it for? Deaf, deafened, or hard of hearing
How does it work? Displays dialogue and audio cues as text onscreen
What device is use? None
When can it be used? Open Captioning is typically only available at In Conversation With... events and Open Air Cinema screenings at TIFF

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Please note Descriptive Sound, Closed Captioning, and Open Captioning are not available for all films.

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Service and Support Animals

Guide dogs and service animals are welcome in all public spaces at TIFF Lightbox, including the cinemas. Emotional support animals will be permitted on a discretionary basis. Front of House staff may request that you provide documentation from a regulated health professional confirming the animal is required as per the AODA’s Customer Service Standards. Please let Front of House staff know if your service animal needs water or any assistance.

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Content Advisories

Content Advisories are intended to help inform audiences about content they may appreciate knowing about prior to viewing. They are listed, where applicable, for all Festival and year-round programming. You can find a list of applicable content advisories on each film page, directly beneath the film synopsis and above the genre tags.

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Active Listeners

Active listeners provide support for attendees dealing with difficult content during or after a film/event. They offer discussions, resource suggestions, friendly chats, and are located at the 4th floor, Room 1, TIFF Lightbox, from 11 am - 3 pm and 6 pm - 10 pm during the Festival (details on page 6 of TIFF Festival Venue Accessibility Guide (PDF | Word). Not available year-round unless specified on specific film/event pages.

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Website Accessibility

We’re working toward the digital accessibility standards laid out by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA as per the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Many films on digital TIFF Lightbox include a Closed Captions (CC) option, in addition to English subtitles, which are available for all foreign-language films.

See list of films that are available with subtitles and/or closed captions.

TIFF Festival Venue Accessibility & Visual Guide

TIFF has a team focused on having Festival venues that everyone can access. The team work with events coordinators, designers, and others across the company to help ensure that our venues are utilized with accessibility in mind.

Visit this TIFF Lightbox & Festival Venue Accessibility Grid (PDF | Word) for an overview of accessibility features and accommodations available by venue. Or refer to the TIFF Festival Venue Accessibility Guide (PDF | Word) to learn more about general access and visitor accommodations available at the Festival.

TIFF Lightbox Visual Guide
Scotiabank Theatre Visual Guide
Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre Visual Guide
Royal Alexandra Theatre Visual Guide
Roy Thomson Hall Visual Guide
Glenn Gould Studio at the Canadian Broadcast Centre Visual Guide
Industry Centre at the Hyatt Regency
Cinema Park Presented by L'Oréal Paris Visual Guide
We're here to help
Visit our Help Centre for more information
What are lobby passes?

Lobby passes can be requested by any Festival ticket holder who has an accessibility consideration that limits their ability to stand in a lineup at a venue. There is a designated waiting area in each venue where a lobby pass may be used. Access to the designated waiting area is granted to the visitor and their companion (if required) upon presentation of a lobby pass to a TIFF Front of House Representative, along with a valid ticket. The nature of the lobby access varies by venue, and space may be limited.

Lobby pass requests will open in mid-August, following Festival ticket on-sale dates. For any questions, please reach out to customerrelations@tiff.net.

How do I enable closed-captioning on digital TIFF Lightbox?

For films with closed-captioning, click on the “CC” button in the lower-right corner of the player and select the option that suits your needs. To find accessible screenings on our digital TIFF Lightbox platform, click here.

How do I find films that have closed-captioning, open captions, or descriptive sound?

TIFF strives to be accessible to all our patrons and to offer as many films as possible with closed-captioning, open captions, or descriptive sound. To find in-person screenings that offer accessible options, please visit tiff.net/films (Festival) or tiff.net/calendar (year-round), open the drop-down menu labelled “Accessibility,” and select the appropriate filter (See films with Closed Captioning, and Descriptive Sound). To find accessible screenings on our digital platform, click here.

How do I find out about accessibility accommodations at each Festival venue?

All Festival venues offer accessible and companion seating in each cinema. Seating is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Though we do our best to accommodate every request, seating cannot be guaranteed. Accessible and companion seating must be booked over the phone. Our Call Centre is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm at 416-599-2033 or 1-888-258-8433.

At TIFF Lightbox, other accessible building facilities include:

  • Escalators to each level with publicly accessible cinema
  • Lobby elevators with access to all levels
  • Barrier-free washroom facilities on each level

For accessibility information at other Festival venues, please download the Venue Accessibility & Visual Guides in either PDF or Word formats above.