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THE WALKTHROUGH

O&B Canteen, Luma, Malaparte: New Dining, Event Spaces at TIFF Bell Lightbox

By Susan O'Neill October 6, 2010, 3:40 PM EDT

Rendering: Courtesy of Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants

In addition to being the new home of the Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF Bell Lightbox, in the entertainment district at the corner of King and John streets, houses two new Oliver & Bonacini restaurants—O&B Canteen and Luma—and an independent event space (operated by the restaurant group) called Malaparte.

The street-level O&B Canteen is a casual, fresh market café with a grab-and-go counter. Designed by KPMB, the space has polished concrete floors, white Corian tables, walnut LAX chairs from Mash Studios in Los Angeles, leather banquettes, and a 14-seat solid walnut communal table. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the street, and a 60-seat patio wraps around the corner of the building. O&B Canteen seats 120 and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Menu items include dishes like steak frites, roasted half chicken, gnocchi, and Calabrese pizza. The space is not available for buyout.

Luma, on the second floor, is adjacent to the BlackBerry Lounge, which seats 120. A Statuarietto marble-topped bar divides the two spaces. The restaurant's main dining room holds 120, and a patio holds 44. A private dining room can accommodate groups of as many as 14. The space, also designed by KPMB, has a fumed oak floor, tables made of reclaimed elm, and Saarinen lounge chairs by Knoll. A 38-inch-tall concrete vase, filled with flowers and designed by Mags Concrete Works, sits in the centre of the room. The menu, from chef Jason Bangerter, includes items like butter-poached lobster, seared lamb sirloin, and tagliatelle.

Malaparte, set to open in December, is a private event space on the sixth floor. The space, which holds 150 seated and 250 for receptions, has a 16-foot ceiling with moulding covered in silver leaf. “The idea with this space is luxury,” said Deborah Gee, Oliver & Bonacini's manager of events and private dining. The space has direct access to a rooftop terrace, which has a 200-person capacity. The room is also equipped with two in-ceiling projectors with motorized lifts, built-in rigging points, spotlights, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

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