By all rights, former Toronto Raptor and current San Antonio Spur Matt Bonner should be playing for Team Canada. Bonner loves the country, he lives in Toronto in the off-season with his beautiful Beaches wife Nadia, and he’s an NBA champion. The problem: Bonner’s a born Yankee and the citizenship process is slow, even for an upstanding guy like himself.

Bonner, in Toronto this weekend to promote the NBA’s 3X tournament, reiterated his ongoing desire to be a Canuck.

“It’s been over three years,” says Bonner, of the bureaucratic marathon. “I love it here, and it’s important for me to get my Canadian citizenship and contribute to the country.”

And Bonner is a true Canadian. Consider his nickname, the Red Rocket. Most Spurs fans think it refers to Bonner’s ginger genetics — and they are partly right — but fans in Canada know that it actually refers to his cheapskate habit of taking the TTC to the Air Canada Centre when he was a Raptor. And he prefers Mr. Sub over Subway — take that, Uncle Sam!

Our senior men’s basketball team needs Bonner too. We didn’t make it to London this year, but all eyes are set on 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. Currently, Canada has an army of young players coming up through the high school and college systems. Optimists think we’ll be able to compete with the Americans in a few years. And Steve Nash has listed the country’s young talent as the primary reason for taking the job as Team Canada’s new general manager. Bonner’s veteran leadership would be invaluable to the team.

But we’ll just have to wait and see. Hopefully Jason Kenney is a hoops fan.


Toronto has finally been invited to the most famous “secret” dinner party in the world.

On August 9, 2012, Dîner en Blanc will make its Toronto debut. The self-described “chic picnic” is a flash mob viral event wherein guests, all dressed in elegant white attire, are at the last minute shuttled to a secret location to dine and dance the night away. Invitees bring their own food, tables, chairs, and silverware, while organizers supply sparklers, decorations, and a live band. When the night ends, guests clean up and go home, leaving no evidence of the mischief that transpired.

Started in Paris in 1988, the event is now held in 15 cities around the world, each party boasting around 1,000 guests. To attend, hopefuls must visit the Dîner en Blanc website and join a waiting list. Last year, 30,000 New Yorkers signed up for the event, and a similar number is expected from Toronto.

Organizers pick the secret locations based on their beauty, so what Toronto spot will make the cut? Will they pick the pit at Trinity Bellwoods? Or maybe breathtaking Bluffer’s Park? We that hope they get truly ambitious, highjack the ferry boats, and land somewhere on the Toronto Islands.


Look out, world! Paulina Gretzky is going to be a star!

Paulina Gretzky, daughter of Canadian hockey legend and merchant of comfy sweaters Wayne Gretzky, recently tweeted a photograph of her and her friend on the set of Grown Ups 2. We don't know if she can act, but it is obvious from the picture that Paulina has her own set of grown ups.

It seems Papa Gretzky is on something of a losing streak. First he couldn't stop Paulina from taking down her racy Twitter account. Then he couldn't persuade Steve Nash to play for the Raptors. And now his daughter's boobs are trending around the world. Fame has its limitations. 


AMC’s Breaking Bad will end its near-perfect run after five seasons next summer, but that may not be the last we see of our favourite unscrupulous characters. Creator Vince Gilligan recently hinted that, barring any sudden final twists, he could imagine lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) getting his own spin-off.

Though this tidbit likely came from a leading question, Gilligan explained: “I think that would present itself pretty nicely, storywise. While Breaking Bad is by design a show that is finite and limited in its scope — it’s a story of transformation that cannot go on forever — I think a Saul Goodman show could have great legs.” Gilligan also expressed enthusiasm for a film based on the series, but repeated that the characters’ fates are still up on the air. [Via Entertainment Weekly]


[html]This week in the TORO Playlist, French Montana and his crew have a summer get-together, Tom Waits returns to live performance, and Aerosmith drop their first single in years.

French Montana ft. Rick Ross, Drake, Lil Wayne - "Pop That" (From Excuse My French, release date TBA)

Tom Waits - "Chicago" (Live On The Late Show, originally from Bad As Me, out now)

Aerosmith - "Legendary Child" (From Music From Another Dimension!, out November 6)

Band of Horses - "Knock Knock" (From Mirage Rock, out September 18)

Twin Shadow - "Patient" (From Confess, out now)

Related: TORO interviews Twin Shadow

Bloc Party - "Octopus" (From Four, out August 20)

Naytronix - "Robotic" (From Dirty Glow, out October 9)

Radiohead - "Treefingers" (Live debut, originally from Kid A)


Toronto musician Lights has inspired Canadian men to drool and sing along to girly electro-pop songs. Now she’ll inspire them to eat a plate of nixtamalized corn chips.

Lights and local concert venue / restaurant Sneaky Dee's have teamed up to develop the “Cactus in the Valley” dish, named for a track on her 2011 album Siberia. The dish is described as “tortillas topped with seasoned chicken, rice, salsa roja, frijoles, grilled peppers and onions, then baked with cheese and topped with fresh guacamole and sour cream.” It is available now for the incredibly reasonable price of $16.99. For the deluxe $29.99 package Lights will personally play the keytar loudly in your ear as you chow down.

Below you can see what Cactus in the Valley nachos look like. Did you guess “like nachos”? You win!


Related: Lights’ TORO Woman Photo Shoot

Related: Lights Live @ TORO


Fresh off the success of Magic Mike, Channing Tatum will star as another man known for his balls: late stuntman / daredevil / entertainer Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel. The film will be overseen by Columbia Pictures with producing team Mike DeLuca and Dana Brunetti (also of the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation). It will reportedly draw inspiration from Stuart Barker’s 2008 biography Life of Evel, hopefully replacing that title with something better. An Evel Man? All About Evel? I’ve got plenty more.

This will be the third feature-length adaptation of Knievel’s life. Evel Knievel (1971) featured George Hamilton in the title role, but was curiously produced a mere five years or so after the stuntman began his celebrated career. Future dramatic highlights, including his jump over Snake River, 14-bus-length leap in Ohio, and struggles with physical injury and bankruptcy, were still to come. The film is now in the public domain, you can watch it here. A TV movie with the same title, starring CSI actor George Eads, was produced in 2004. It was terrible, you can watch it never. [Via The Hollywood Reporter]


[html]Here’s a weird one: apparently last year, around the time videos of feline abuse appeared on Youtube, an animal rights group attempted to use legendary porn star Ron Jeremy to lure accused abuser, wannabe X-rated performer and future alleged murderer Luka Magnotta into a sting, under the pretense of a job offer. Jeremy has revealed details of the operation to The Canadian Press and confessed he got “cold feet” at the last minute. Thankfully, those cold feet may have helped Jeremy keep his actual feet. [Via CityNews]



pacific_rim.jpgNext May visionary fantasy director Guillermo del Toro will finally release his first movie since Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008): Pacific Rim, a subtle, deeply thematic drama in which characters with ridiculous names like Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) and Newt Gotlieb (Charlie Day) battle alien monsters using giant robots. Now it has a poster. You can see it to your left. Are you excited? Again, giant robots fighting alien monsters – if those are the kinds of things you like to see in movies, this is the movie to see. [Via IMP Awards]



Apparently, TORO Garage alumnus, Carly Rae Jepsen, has a hit that screams summer 2012.

“Call Me Maybe” is so smooth it even works as a pick up line. Anyway, now the budded Canadian pop-stress is set to make her debut on the premiere of 90210 this season.

Hopefully, Carly won't forget her roots. We’d like take you back to when this shining star wore glasses.




This week ABC announced an unorthodox unification of hard-edged chef Anthony Bourdain and Britannia’s beauty Nigella Lawson. The two will host a food reality series called The Taste, where amateur and pro cooks vie to turn out the tastiest dish. Wow, originality at its finest.

Rumour has it, Bourdain had to take up smoking again after too many close encounters with Ms. Lawson’s bosom. Either that, or it's just a defense against accusations of his "going soft."


[html]Electronic wizard Dan Deacon has dropped a second song from his forthcoming album America. It’s called “True Thrush” and you can hear it below.

Also check out the previously released “Lots”:

America drops August 28 via Domino. Those who pre-order now from the label's online market will get a nifty 2 ft. x 3 ft. all-weather fabric flag featuring album artwork (you can see it above, waving majestically).

Related: TORO interviews Dan Deacon


Take a seat Hunger Games: Catching Fire casting news. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah has found its Methuselah: Anthony Hopkins will play the Biblical character known for being exceptionally old (969 years) and whose death caused God to delay his historically accurate Great Flood by a full week.

Previously confirmed cast members include Russell Crowe as Noah, Jennifer Connelly as his wife Naameh (named as such in the Qur’an, anonymous in the Bible), Emma Watson as Ila (daughter) and Logan Lerman as Ham (son). An open casting call remains for two of every animal. 


No one expects the guy who proclaimed himself "the best in baseball" not to be outspoken, but the New York Yankees would like Reggie Jackson to put a sock in it — for now.

After he said what a lot of other people probably think about Alex Rodriguez and some fellow Hall of Famers, the Yankees asked Jackson, a special adviser to the club, to stay away from the team and events indefinitely.

The ban follows comments he made in Sports Illustrated last week where he suggested that Rodriguez and Andy Pettite's career numbers were tainted by their admitted use of performance-enhancing drugs. 

“Al’s a very good friend, but I think there are real questions about his numbers,” Jackson told SI. “As much as I like him, what he admitted about his usage does cloud some of his records.”

He also went on to say he didn't think guys like Gary Carter, Jim Rice, Kirby Puckett and Bert Blyleven were worthy of Cooperstown.

Once the shit hit the fan, Jackson hit the apology circuit and had been laying low, although he did make an appearance at last night's All-Star Home Run Derby (Tigers' slugger Prince Fielder won and the Jays' Jose Bautista finished second, by the way) where he wisely, did not address the media.

While he's not speaking, we thought we'd revisit some past quotes to keep his voice alive.


"After Jackie Robinson the most important black in baseball history is Reggie Jackson, I really mean that." Life (January 1988)

"Fans don't boo nobodies." Baseball Illustrated (1975)

"I am the best in baseball." Reggie (Reggie Jackson, 1984)

"I couldn't quit, because of all the kids, and the blacks, and the little people pulling for me. I represent both the underdog and the overdog in our society."

"I didn't come to New York to be a star, I brought my star with me."

"I'm human and I've played my butt off for ten years. I'm not a loafer, I'm not a jerk, I'm a baseball player."

"I'm the straw that stirs the drink."

"The only reason I don't like playing in the World Series is I can't watch myself play."

"When you've played this game for ten years and gone to bat seven-thousand times and gotten two-thousand hits do you know what that really means? It means you've gone zero for five-thousand." Christian Science Monitor (September 20, 1974)


Chumbawamba was a band long before and well after its first and only expedition into popular culture, a tune called “Tubthumping.” But after 30 years (!) together the “anarcho-punk” group has called it a day.

In a post on their website, attributed to no member in particular, an explanation is offered. Summarized, they regret not being able to maintain their original intentions, which included “trying to be relevant and active and up-to-date, while trying to avoid the dreaded rut of routine or repetition.” Such a goal was not accomplished by spreading one incredibly catchy hit single across 15 whole albums, surprisingly.

Further claims to fame included titling their debut album Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records (1986) and adorning the cover of Anarchy (1994) with graphic birth photography. [Via Exclaim]



On Friday, July 6 Food Network Star and captivating personality Anthony Sedlak was found dead in his apartment in North Vancouver. The cause of the death of the former host of Food Network's The Main  is being attributed to an undiagnosed medical illness.

The 29-year-old chef recently opened the American Cheesesteak Co. in Vancouver and was spending much time in Toronto reinventing the menu for the Don Valley Hotel Suites' restaurant.

TORO had the pleasure of working with Chef Sedlak on his Guide to Restaurants in Vancouver. He will be missed.


[html]Our friends in East Coast rock duo Cousins have released a video for “Jules,” a highlight from their latest album and end-of-year list contender The Palm at the End of the Mind. It is described by the band as “A rejected Gap Jeans advertisement made by a kid with ADHD.” It features dancing pants.

Cousins with play some shows with Chad VanGaalen, Dusted, and Modern Primitives this month:

July 23 - Ottawa (Mavericks) w/ VanGaalen
July 24 - Montreal (Il Motore) w/ VanGaalen
July 25 - Kingston (Grad Club) w/ VanGaalen
July 26 - Toronto (Mod Club) w/ VanGaalen & Dusted
July 27 - Quebec City (Le Cercle) w/ Modern Primitives

Related: TORO interviews Cousins
Related: TORO interviews Chad VanGaalen


Ernest Borgnine, one of the most prolific actors in film and television history, has died at the age of 95 of renal failure.

Born in 1917, Borgnine didn’t begin acting until he'd completed his service with the U.S. Navy in World War II, an organization he continued to support officially and through his various roles as military men throughout subsequent decades. Though, interestingly, his breakout role as the violent Sergeant “Fatso” Judson in From Here to Eternity (1953) didn’t exactly paint commanding officers in a positive light.

Borgnine’s first success as a leading man came with Marty (1955), a New York-set comedy that cast him as the title character, a good-natured butcher looking for love. The movie, which has aged well, was a critical and commercial smash, winning the Best Picture Oscar and top prize at Cannes.

Borgnine had an enviable amount of memorable credits to his name. Virtually anyone who has watched movies or television regularly could name their own; Johnny Guitar (1954), McHale’s Navy (1962 - 1966), The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Wild Bunch (1969), The Poseidon Adventure (1972), appearances on The Love Boat, The Simpsons, SpongeBob SquarePants, and dozens more. His last film, The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincente Fernandez, should be released this year.


[html]Julia Loktev’s The Loneliest Planet was unfortunately overlooked at last year’s TIFF. Here’s the first trailer for the drama, which thankfully doesn’t give away its startling, undeniably clever plot twist.

The film, starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Hani Furstenberg as a couple put to the test, and Bidzina Gujabidze as their morally ambiguous traveling guide, will hit North American theaters August 21. I hope I never have to spell their names again.

Related: Our TIFF review of The Loneliest Planet


Last night’s SummerWorks VIP Dinner showcased the cuisine of Cowbell’s Mark Cutrara and Brockton General’s Alexandra Feswick who are coming together in holy Gastrotrimony to create a new restaurant.

Samuel J Moore, the lovechild of this union, is now officially opening at the end of August on the main floor of Toronto’s Great Hall. The chefs don’t know yet if the offspring is male or female but that’s okay the name will fit regardless; they don’t believe in gender-specific monikers. They're so west end.