Bollywood in Toronto, the Cultural, Entertainment & Financial Capital of Canada

There are more than one million Canadians of Indian origin, most of whom are both Indians and Canadians at the very core. And when you’re an Indian at core, you’re bound to love Indian films. Here’s the Bollywood connection with Toronto, Canada.

Deepika Padukone is making here Hollywood debut with ‘XXX: The Return of XANDER CAGE’, where she will be seen opposite Hollywood hunk Vin Diesel. Directed by D.J. Caruso, the movie is currently being shot on the sets in Toronto.

First day of filming… Xander and Serena… P.s. 17 million beautiful souls. Thanks for the love.

A post shared by Vin Diesel (@vindiesel) on

Movies Shot in Toronto / Ontario, Canada

CN Tower, Frankensteins Burger KIng Castle, Niagara SkyWheel, Clifton Hill, Toronto City Hall, Radisson Hotel Admiral Toronto-Harbourfront, are some of the locations that you would have seen in Bollywood films.

Taal, Thank You, Kismat Konnection are just some of the popular Bollywood films that have been shot in and around Toronto.

‘Thank You’ (Starring Askay Kumar, Irrfan Khan & others) shows several of Ontario landmarks, including Toronto’s Flatiron Building, Air Canada Centre, and of course the Niagara Falls.

CN Tower, Toronto, Canada

There are a few other movies that have been shot in Toronto but have been passed as New York in the movie.
‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’, Apne (Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby Deol) are a couple of movies that have been shot in Toronto (shown as NewYork).

niagara falls, Toronto, Canada

Deepa Mehta, a popular Indo-Canadian film director and screenwriter, also lives in Toronto. Her movie “Water”, was meant to be shot in India, but Hindu fundamentalists forced the film to stop production, which was then made in Sri Lanka. Water opened the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.

Deepa mehta at University of Toronto, Canada

Bollywood/Hollywood, a lighthearted poke at Bollywood’s song-and-dance routines (directed by Deepa Mehta and starring Toronto actress Lisa Ray) was shot in Toronto.

Bollywood in Toronto, Canada

Festivals & Award Functions

International Indian Film Festival (IIFA) rocked the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, in June 2011. Several celebrities from North America were in the audience, watching the show along with the fans. Jermaine Jackson did a tribute number to his brother Micheal Jackson and was joined on stage by Soni Nigam for a few songs.

IIFA 2011 in Toronto, Canada

Canada also has a very strong local film industry that makes lot of Hollywood films. Hollywood North, is a colloquialism used to describe film production industries and/or film locations in Canada, specifically Toronto and Vancouver.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is a popular film festival held each September in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Festival traditionally kicks off the Thursday night after Labour Day (the first Monday in September in Canada), lasting for eleven days.

All permits to film on City of Toronto streets, property and parks are issued by the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Office (TFTDMO).

Toronto, Canada

Toronto Tourism

Toronto is the largest city in Canada, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, and is the provincial capital of Ontario.

10 Must-See attractions of Toronto:

  1. The CN Tower: It may no longer be the tallest free standing structure in the world, but it still attracts millions of tourists and is the best place to get a bird’s eye view of Toronto and the surrounding areas.
  2. The Eaton Centre: Popular shopping mall in the heart of Toronto’s downtown, its of architectural interest as well.
  3. Casa Loma: For history or architecture buffs, the Casa Loma proudly overlooks the city.
  4. Royal Ontario Museum (ROM): Has more than 40 galleries of art, archaeology and natural science. The Bizarre, jagged glass exterior tends to either delight or offend.
  5. Centre Island (also called Toronto Island): Series of small islands that comprise the largest urban car-free community in North America, features an amusement park, recreation areas, beaches, a yacht club, and restaurants.
  6. The Distillery District: This pedestrian-only village is set amidst fabulous heritage architecture and is devoted to promoting arts and culture.
  7. Yorkville: Witness Victorian architecture in Yorkville houses dozens of restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. The dining and shopping is upscale and the galleries represent some of the finest Canadian and international artists.
  8. Hockey Hall of Fame: Even if you’re not a hockey fan, the Hockey Hall of Fame is an outstanding facility, full of interactive exhibits that put kids or adults in the heat of NHL action.
  9. Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO): With an impressive collection, AGO is the 10th largest art museum in North America. Features Canadian art heritage and masterworks from around the world.
  10. Chinatown: Toronto has the second largest Chinatown in North America. Great place for shopping and delicious food (not just Chinese but other Asian fare as well).

Businesses Struggle to Stay Afloat in Little India in Toronto

Businesses Struggle to Stay Afloat in Little India in Toronto

You’ll find a ‘Little India’ in almost every country where there’s a sizable Indian/South-Asian population. Such places will have several Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Afghan and Sri Lankan restaurants, cafes, videos/DVD stores, clothing shops, electronic goods & home decor stores, catering to the South Asian-Canadian communities.

Even tourists are keen to check out such places, usually towards the end of the trip especially when they’re craving for some real, authentic Indian cuisine, and also to just checkout the place (to see where most of the migrants live).

There’s a Little India in Toronto, Canada as well (located in Gerrard Street). This place got the name ‘Little India’ after Indian immigrant Gian Khan turned the now-defunct Eastwood Theatre into a screening cineplex for Bollywood movies, and an influx of other South Asian businesses followed — this creating the term. It became a South Asian hub In the 1960s.

In recent years however, ‘Little India’ has been a misnomer, with several people of South Asian descent moving away from the area (Gerrard Street). Most businesses, catering to the South Asian people, are now struggling to stay afloat in Little India; after the recession things may have improved a bit, but nowhere near to what it used to be earlier.

Most shop owners feel that Business is slow or ‘dead’ in the area, and some are also witnessing a shift to non-South Asian businesses in this area. Read complete story here…

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