A film-filled vacation to Canada's biggest city
Posted on Thursday 28 July 2011
By Rory MacTavish
Kiwis taking Toronto holidays have a plethora of movies to take in at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, held from September 8th through the 18th.
Toronto is in the Canadian province of Ontario, along the shores of one of North America's great lakes. It's the most populous city in the country, and has features typical of many large American and Canadian cities: wide, canyon-like streets between rows of towering skyscrapers, bustling shopping and financial districts, and a busy subway system roaring underneath in all directions.
The film festival's opening movie will be From the Sky Down, a documentary on the early-1990s career of Irish rock band U2 by filmmaker Davis Guggenheim.
"In the terrain of rock bands - implosion or explosion is seemingly inevitable," notes Guggenheim. "U2 has defied the gravitational pull towards destruction, this band has endured and thrived. The movie From The Sky Down asks the question why."
Fans of the legendary band may want to take the trip to southern Canada just for the film, but anyone interested in the history (and modern form) of rock and roll will find U2's story fascinating and educational.
Other festival highlights include a number of Canadian-made films, from restored classics to new features. International films will of course be on the roster, with a slate of big-name movies hailing from the country's southern neighbor, the United States. Such strange programs as Midnight Madness (off-beat thrillers and horror flicks) will keep audiences entertained throughout the festival. Children's cinema will also be presented.
Many of Toronto's major hotels are centered around the downtown harbour front, in the University of Toronto area and near the airport. When staying outside of town, most Toronto car hire companies can be found at the Pearson International Airport.
The city is full of natural and man-made parks, some in the city and some just off its shores. Of the island parks, the Tommy Thompson park is perhaps the most interesting. Deemed "Toronto's urban wilderness" by the city conservation department, the long peninsula juts out of the city and brings nature lovers into a world of freshwater marshes, sand dunes, wildflower fields and a wide array of colorful birds for watching. Although Toronto is vastly different from Auckland, kiwi travelers will appreciate the mix of urban and natural environments on a Canadian holiday to the area.
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