The most glamorous and glitzy neighbourhoods in Los Angeles are places like Beverly Hills and Bel Air, Pacific Palisades and Laurel Canyon, all characterized by sprawling estates on winding roads with mansions hidden from the public gaze by ginormous boxwood hedges. Sound familiar. If weren’t for the palm tress and the bougainvillea you could just as easily be in Rosedale or The Bridle Path, Don Mills’ fancy next-door neighbour. Amazingly Beverly Hills and the Bridle Path/Don Mills district are quite similar. Consider the following. LA’s most famous ‘hood is actually divided into two parts: “The Flats,” where expensive but not over the top homes are located along with the luxury shops on Rodeo Drive, and then there’s “The Hillside” north of Sunset Boulevard where The Big Stars with Big Money live. Don Mills and The Bridle Path are the mirror image. An open-air shopping mall and pricey but not palatial homes in Don Mills and a few minutes away on The Bridle Path, The Super Rich. The two ‘hoods could be twins. It may seem counter-intuitive but T.O. and LA are more alike than you might think. So here’s a little checklist to prove the point:
Except for Cannes, the TIFF is the biggest film festival in the world by a long shot and because of its place on the film-fest calen-dar—in early September—it easily trumps the French Riviera flick fest for “Oscar buzz.” Since its opening in 2010, the TIFF’s home, The Bell Lightbox, has become one of the globe’s go-to places for a total immersion in film culture. The city’s love of the cinema is not just ten-day fling in the Fall, it carries on all year long.
Clearly many Canadians have made it big in LA—Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, & The Biebs—but it is less well known that some A-list show biz celebs commute to work Cali-fornia preferring to pay the mortgage in Hog-town rather than Hollywood. Pearson to LAX is 4 hours, about the same as a bad day on the DVP, so it’s eminently doable. Among the biggest stay-at-home stars in the Toronto firmament is Rachel McAdams, soon-to-be-seen in the upcoming movie Dr. Strange with Benedict Cumberbatch. Another big-name actor who prefers Rosedale to Bel Air is Eugene Levy, and Drake, of course has an-nounced plans for a new palace in the Bridle Path, not Beverly Hills.
Toronto is frequently dubbed “Hollywood North” because it competes with Vancouver for bragging rights for being the second larg-est film production centre in North America after LA. Toronto has its Studio District in South Riverdale, just north of the Port Lands and since there are only three major studios still HQed in the City of Angels—Paramount, Columbia, 20th Century Fox—T.O. could soon be nipping at LA’s high heels for #1.