When you live in downtown Toronto, you quickly become accustomed to the people calendar -- when the streets will be silent, and when they'll be buzzing. It starts when school lets out -- young kids hit the playgrounds while the college kids head home and free up the late-night sidewalks. Every third person is now a tourist, stopping every few feet for pictures or to look at a map. On the weekends, the city often becomes a ghost town, as hordes head up north to cottages. But then it's back to school, often marked by the eager new engineers running around the city painted purple.

And just a few days later, they're joined by slick stars and a million press badges as the Toronto International Film Festival gears up. The stars are out, as are the press, the movie lovers, and the eager onlookers. Teeny boppers buzz like packs of bees around the Four Seasons and other Yorkville haunts for a peek at someone famous. It's movies and fans everywhere.

But reviews don't give you a taste of the city, nor do quick glimpses in films like Chicago and Urban Legend. You can see it retro-style with SCTV, but that city is in the past. The best way to get a taste of Toronto without being here is through Canadian filmmaker Don McKellar. Between the films he's directed and those he's acted in, you can get many tastes of this town, from exotic women to last nights on Earth. In honor of the fest, and of the wonderful T-Dot, I offer you: Childstar and Monkey Warfare.