RIU Hotels & Resorts is coming to Canada

RIU Hotels & Resorts has announced the construction of a hotel in its Riu Plaza urban line, in Toronto, the largest city in Canada and the cultural, business and financial centre of the country. The Spanish company intends to invest around 100 million dollars in the project, that will establish the first RIU hotel in Canada and will add continuity to the hotel company’s plan to expand into the world’s great cities.

The project, designed in a sophisticated avant-garde style, as a part of the Riu Plaza line, is now near the end of the design phase and is set to open in 2021. The building, a newly-built modern tower block, will be located in the city’s financial district and is mixed use. RIU’s investment in the part intended for the hotel will have 350 rooms, meeting rooms, a gym, bar and restaurant; while the upper floors will be for residential use.

Luis Riu, CEO of RIU Hotels & Resorts, has made it clear that the opening of the first hotel in Toronto “is a big step forward in our commitment to expanding the Riu Plaza hotel line in the world’s key cities, establishing the RIU brand beyond more traditional vacation destinations. We hope this hotel attracts RIU customers around the world to discover the city of Toronto with us, and also hope that the loyal customers we have in Canada decide to discover our urban product. This project means a new drive to raise awareness of our brand within and beyond the country.” Continue reading “RIU Hotels & Resorts is coming to Canada”

The World’s First War Took Place in India, Says New Book

Genetic evidence shows the Biblical Hebrews came to the Middle East from India

The World’s First War was the historic event that inspired the Biblical story of Eden and that war took place in India nearly 6,000 years ago, according to a new book by a Toronto based Jewish author Barry Brown. Brown, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated Canadian journalist, says the First War was the epic Battle of Kurukshetra as described in the Mahabharata. When it was over, four million warriors were dead and Ancient India’s history vanished for 2,500 years until the time of Buddha (c 600 BC).

In his book ‘Humanity – The World before Religion, War and Inequality, Brown claims the 6,000 year old Biblical tale of Eden and Ancient India’s story of the Kurukshetra War both refer to the same event – the world’s First War and the end of ‘Generation Eden’ – human history before war.”

Most people assume humans have fought wars over land and resources for as long as humans have walked the Earth. But that assumption is wrong, according to the widely-praised book.

The history that connects the end of Ancient India with the start of the Jewish Bible flows through the Indo-Afro-European people known as the Hebrews. According to India’s text, after the war, the remaining members of its Royal Family, known as the Yadavas, begin to migrate westward from Eastern India. Continue reading “The World’s First War Took Place in India, Says New Book”

AKSHAY KUMAR & ROHIT SHETTY TO COME TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ‘SOORYAVANSHI’

Akshay Kumar and Rohit Shetty are teaming up for the first time. Another cop franchise from the Singham and Simmba director, the new film, titled Sooryavanshi, will feature the megastar Akshay Kumar as an ATS (Anti-Terrorist Squad) officer.

Glimpses of his character have already been seen in the end credits of the Ranveer Singh-starrer Simmba and the blockbuster director also announced that the action drama will release later this year. Perfect way to get the fans excited!

Before starting filming for Sooryavanshi, the Gold actor has pending shoot for two films — Mission Mangal and Good News. Filming for the super cop action-drama Sooryavanshi is likely to commence this year.

Both Rohit Shettyand Akshay Kumar are known to finish their projects in record time. So, it won’t be surprising if their maiden collaboration is also ready in time for a release this year.

 Akshay Kumar will be next seen in Kesari in March. He also has the fourth installment of comedy franchise Housefull in the pipeline.

Rohit Shetty’s Simmba, which stars Ranveer Singh in the title role, has a special appearance by Ajay Devgn in his Bajirao Singham avatar. In addition, there was another guest appearance, just when it seemed like the end credits will start rolling, Akshay Kumar’s voice boomed. Continue reading “AKSHAY KUMAR & ROHIT SHETTY TO COME TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ‘SOORYAVANSHI’”

Host the Perfect Healthy  (Diabetes-Friendly) New Year’s Day Brunch Party!

–By Howard Rosenthal

Most people vow to adopt healthier habits in the new year. For many that includes eating a healthier diet. Even if you rang in the new year with too much champagne and celebration, you can turn over a new leaf starting on day one of 2019. But why do it all alone? Instead, call up your friends and host a healthy New Year’s Day brunch party to start the year off right.

Because everyone you know is likely planning to improve their diet right around this time, you’ll have no shortage of guests. With your help, your friends can head into 2019 with a fun, delicious, and healthy feast.

Keep in mind that diet is one of the biggest factors that affects our health. With 30 million Americans suffering from diabetes, it’s crucial to start choosing foods that promote wellness without sacrificing the flavor.

Ready to start planning your healthy New Year’s Day bruncheon? Here are some tips to get you started.

Set the mood with a fun playlist. Turn on some music you love to create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere that won’t overpower the conversation. Some good options include jazz, blues, or folk music.

Choose a simple and festive centerpiece. Save your sanity by keeping the décor minimal. Continue reading “Host the Perfect Healthy  (Diabetes-Friendly) New Year’s Day Brunch Party!”

Cocktails, Wine and Food: A Fine Gourmet Mix at the 6ix!

–Lachman Balani

The 6ix, as Toronto is known, has come alive again for four glorious days at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The annual gourmet food and wine expo is back from Nov 22-25! Sip and savour your way through international gourmet cuisine, exotic delicacies, incredible wines, cutting-edge cocktails, stunning craft beers and so much more!

Many experts are in town to tell you all about how to be a connoisseur in manna and libations divine.

Jeremy Parsons, famed culinary mixologist, kicked off the event showing off his prowess in mixing cocktails. He gave the public a taste of his superb version of Canada’s famous “Caesar’s” made with vodka and Clamato juice and smoked in an infuser designed by him.

He then treated the attendees to an amazing sous-vide margarita, tequila blended with pineapple and other citrus fruits. All his impressive cocktails are in his new book “Invite: Cocktails, Canapés, Company! “

Following his incredible presentation, Christopher Waters, renowned wine connoisseur, wowed the crowd with four incredible wines. Starting off with a de jour rosé bubbly for the festive season, he continued with a white, then onto two reds, explaining the intricacies of the wines to the glowing and happy faces of the appreciative participants.

There are tutored tasting programs and complimentary cooking demonstrations by celebrity guests all day long. Continue reading “Cocktails, Wine and Food: A Fine Gourmet Mix at the 6ix!”

La La Way @ Las Vegas

Vegas! We were  here for a good time, not a long time!

We were on a tight schedule, and wanted maximum fun with minimum days! Vegas was our answer! Considered as the world’s most favourite destination for providing non-stop entertainment, we decided to visit this city during Thanksgiving. We discover that there’s plenty of action on the Strip, even for teetotaler and vegetarians like us!

Being  non smokers, Planet Hollywood was an ideal choice for our stay, as this Casino has a great air vent system, to extract the smoke.The casino also has a mall in it, which is perfect for this tourist town, and shoppers really enjoy it. Just like the other hotels in Vegas, PH has several pools, workout area, spa etc. In terms of location on the Strip, it is next to Paris, and a short walk to Caesars, New York  and Aria. The view from our window was awesome, all the way to the boundary of mountains with tall palm trees!

Any visit to Vegas is incomplete if you don’t watch at least one of the amazing shows that they city puts up! So what do we do? Watch a show:))

So an evening was devoted to watching ‘LOVE’ by Cirque Du Soleil at the Mirage. It was well worth it!

The landscape of ‘LOVE’ is inhabited by fictional characters plucked from the Beatles’ lyrics. Sgt. Pepper, a central figure, encounters many familiar faces, including Lucy in the SkyEleanor RigbyLady Madonna and Mr. Kite. In an exception to this stylistic choice, the “Here Comes the Sun” scene features a character resembling Krishna. Similarly, several scenes include mop-topped, dark-haired figures in black suits who resemble the Beatles. Continue reading “La La Way @ Las Vegas”

Anurag Choudhury becomes famous British graffiti artist Banksy in Toronto!

–By Nita Balani

There is no better way to welcome fall than spending an evening at the theatre. Becoming Banksy is running at the Redwood Theatre until October 14, 2018. This theatre is an ideal location for this avant garde fringe theatre script about an English tourist who visits Toronto and is mistakenly identified as none other than the famous British grafitti artist, Banksy.

The timing could not be better as Toronto just hosted one of the largest art exhibits of Banksy the past three months. The location is more than perfect as the Redwood Theatre (originally a vaudeville theatre) is one of the city’s oldest independent theatres built in 1914. It supports a diverse range of innovators in the creative fields including circus, theatre, art, and film.

Becoming Banksy is a delightful tale of Will Banks (Anurag Choudhury), an unemployed artist from London who is going through an emotional separation . His best friend and fellow street art artist Mark ( Daniel Pagett), suggests he needs to get away from the painful and highly emotionally charged atmosphere at home by taking a well-deserved break to visit Toronto. The plot then takes a comical twist as Will is caught up in a case of mistaken identity by the Toronto hotel receptionist, Caitlyn (Caitlin Driscoll), who thinks he is definitely the graffiti artist Banksy. When Mark finds out, he suggests they take advantage of this folly to sell a number of their paintings for a profit. Continue reading “Anurag Choudhury becomes famous British graffiti artist Banksy in Toronto!”

The Rip-Roaring Twenties Theatre Experience in a Modern Day Musical

–By Nita Balani

Theatre lovers, the modern day musical is back with A Moveable Feast: Paris in the ‘20s! This sold out performance is currently at the Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto. For those of you who like to see the unexpected, this is a marvel in the genre of musicals, seamlessly fusing theatre, music, art, literature and narrative documentary on stage. It is a complete theatrical experience never seen before as you relive the crazy years inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s namesake book about Paris. A Moveable Feast is a memoir by American author Ernest Hemingway about his years as a struggling young expatriate journalist and writer in Paris in the 1920s.

The experience begins with narration from Hemingway’s novel: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

The musical then progresses with images, sounds and snippets, and cameos of life in the 20s – its art, culture and music of the artists of the Lost Generation. The term was coined by Gertrude Stein and popularized by Ernest Hemingway for a group of artists (like Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne) and poets and writers (including T.S Eliot, Scott F. Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound) who left the United States to take part in the free-wheeling popular culture movement in Paris and London in the 1920s. Continue reading “The Rip-Roaring Twenties Theatre Experience in a Modern Day Musical”

Gold Burgers and Chinese Lanterns Bring the Shine to 140th CNE

By N. Balani

Over the top food creations are a major attraction at The Ex.  “Every year we have this little competition that goes on between the various chefs and concessions on site,” says the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE or The EX) CEO Virginia Ludy. “It never ceases to amaze me what they come up with.”

This year, after much deliberation, the big winner is the 24k gold-foil wrapped burger by Bacon Nation in the food building, which is fit for a King or Queen! Of course it comes with a hefty price tag at $100 for the larger version. If that does not suit your pocket then there is a smaller version at $24.95. Each is covered in edible 24-karat gold foil and is certainly a status symbol to be seen on social media delicately nibbling away at it!

Other food novelties include kimchi hotdogs and the very popular Big Pickle Tornado – a hotdog in a tortilla garnished with a pickle, cheese sauce and bacon. More intrepid foodies can go for the chocolate banana steakclair- a giant éclair stuffed with steak, banana, whipped cream, cheese and chocolate sauce.

The EX marks the beginning of the end of summer and is the quintessential outing for most Canadian families. It is all about the crowning creations of food, the rides and mid-way for the kids, the music concerts, the dog-show and craft stalls. Continue reading “Gold Burgers and Chinese Lanterns Bring the Shine to 140th CNE”

Muggles, Hogwarts and Quidditch -The Potted Potter Toronto Experience!

By N. Balani

The Potted Potter experience began way back in 2005 in England when Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner were asked to do a 5-minute street show style presentation on the first 5 Harry Potter books for fans waiting for the release of the sixth book at midnight.

They never imagined that more than a decade later they would still be performing an extended version of that magical show all over the world! This outstanding show has toured from England to Australia to Hong Kong to Dubai and now is in its fourth tour of Toronto and will go on to other cities in the USA.

This two-man parody on the world of Harry Potter will keep you rolling in laughter whether you are 6 or 66 or even the age of Lord Voldermort! The show involves a Harry Potter expert (James Percy) and a person who is definitely not a Potter expert (Brendan Murphy) trying to present a 70 minute summary of the entire 7 tomes of the Potter saga. To enjoy the slap-stick humour of this show you do not even have to know the difference between a HufflePuff and a horcrux or the names of all the creatures from the Book of Magical Creatures. The plot is simple and so is the stage set (low key wigs and hats), but the comedy is rich and a rare chance to see improvisation theatre at its very best. Continue reading “Muggles, Hogwarts and Quidditch -The Potted Potter Toronto Experience!”