Hollywood Stars to Bring Personal Bodyguards to Toronto International Film Festival

The Ontario government has changed local laws to allow Hollywood A-listers to arrange their own protection in Toronto.

TORONTO -- Look for Hollywood stars walking the red carpet at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival to be accompanied by their own hired muscle.

The Canadian Press news wire service reports the Ontario provincial government has quietly changed local laws to allow Hollywood A-listers to freely bring their own bodyguards into the province from September 2.

The new law stipulates a movie star's personal security must be accredited in another jurisdiction, and need not meet Ontario standards.

Until now, security personnel hired to protect celebrities in the province had to be licensed by the province.

That rule held during last month’s International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Toronto, where a host of Bollywood stars strut the green carpet without their own body guards close at their side.

A TIFF spokesman on Thursday said the festival was not involved in drawing up the new legislation.

In recent years, TIFF organizers and major hotels in tony Yorkville have worked hard to ensure Hollywood stars can comfortably move about the festival in a secure bubble.

But allowing the Hollywood studios and distributors to import their own security guards for stars in Toronto to market their movies is a first, and signals just how important TIFF has become as a Fall launch-pad for Oscar contenders.