About Us

Who are we??

The Toronto Film Society, founded in 1948, is one of Canada's oldest film appreciation groups. Originally founded to feed the thirst for non-mainstream or commercial films - whether it be international, independent, banned or forgotten. We are now dedicated to the presentation, preservation and restoration of vintage film. The films screened range from the early 1920's all the way upto the early 1960's, genre's ranging from comedy to drama, and styles from film-noir to musicals. Many films screened by the society may be hard to find or rare archival prints not easily obtainable by the general public, making the film series a special treat to the true film buffs of the city. We produce three series of films each year:

Fall/Winter Sunday Matinee Series

This series, targeted at the film buffs in us all, is a series of 14 films in 7 double bills at the Innis Town Hall. The screenings begin at 2:00pm sharpe, once a month from October through April.

The Fall/Winter Monday Night Series

This theme series, consists of films that generally follow a central theme picked by the society staff. Another 14 films in 7 double bills are screened at The Carlton Cinema in downtown Toronto. Screenings begin at 7:30pm sharpe, once a month from October through April.

Summer Series

In order to assuage or members desire for fantastic classic and vintage films, we offer a third series of movies during the summer months. Screened over seven Monday nights during the months of July and August the films generally follow a central theme picked by the society staff. Screenings start at 7:30pm sharpe.

From time to time we have special guest speakers introducing the programme or the screening of cartoons and shorts before the main features. Film notes are also provided to all viewers prior to the screening to give extra insight into the movies being seen.

Along with the three film series the Toronto Film Society also organizes and sponsers 2 film events or festivals:

May Film Weekend

Every May, the Toronto Film Society hosts a weekend film retreat in a rural setting just outside of Barrie Ontario. All films are on 16mm from private collections. (NOTE: For the first time this year the Toronto Film Society will be holding this event in downtown Toronto at The Carlton Theater)

George Eastman House Weekend

Every August long weekend the Toronto Film Society descends on Rochester, New York, to pull a series of rare films (silent and talkies) from their archive and sreens them at the beautiful Dryden Theatre. All films are 35mm and include features and shorts. Silent films are accompanied live on the piano by Philip Carli. A must not miss for all film buffs.


In 1934 the National Film Society (Ottawa) was founded along with many other similar societies in many other Canadian cities. Unfortunately, however, with the advent of WWII, virtually all of these early branches were suspended. Then in 1948, Dorothy and Oscar Burritt, along with other film enthusiasts, established the Toronto Film Study Group. What was to eventually become the Toronto Film Society, started a "Summer Series" with screenings in the studios of Panda Photography at 321 Church Street (A converted coach house). The first regular season of the TFSG opened October 25th, at the Royal Ontario Museum Theatre, with a screening of Sternberg's "The Blue Angel", double billed with "Cyprus Is An Island", a 1946 documentary.

Then in 1950 the TFSG was officially named the Toronto Film Society, incorprated by Ontario Letters Patent as a non-profit, educational, and cultural association "for the study and appreciation of film as an art". Its first board of directors consisted of: Gerald Pratley (first President), Roy Clifton, Donald Smith, Philip Budd, Moira Armour, Dorothy Burritt, Sterling Campbell, Peter Engering, George Patterson, Benedetto Viccari and Nola Holdaway