Bell Lightbox Cinemas

The Bell Lightbox is the home of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), second only to Cannes. Every September the celebrities and paparazzi descend on Toronto to enjoy the films and the beautiful building.

But for us, it was just another hard job. And there was no paparazzi in the office at the time!

The site is exposed to significant streetcar vibration induced noise. The typical solution for this is often to isolate the entire building on rubber pads or spring isolators . But this is a very expensive option. Rather, it was decided to isolate the individual cinemas themselves. Something that was far more complex but less costly. There are six cinemas, four considered acoustically critical. This was one of those beautiful design decisions that addressed more than one issue at once. Not only did we eliminate the street car noise but by isolating individual rooms, we eliminated the transfer of sound from one cinema to the next.

TIFF was adamant that, although this was a multi-cinema complex, it should not be a shopping mall cinema complex. One where the explosions on the soundtrack in one cinema are clearly audible in the next. In this, in one of the finest cinema complexes in the world, it does not happen.

Every September during the festival it is the pride of the city.
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Architect: KPMB Architects
Acoustician: John O'Keefe