Justin Bieber

TIFF 2014

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TIFF 2014 cheers and jeers: the best and worst of this year’s festival

Because everything related to film culture, even tangentially, can and should be evaluated using a Siskel-and-Ebertian binary system, here are our thumbs up and thumbs down for TIFF 2014.

(Image: Giordano Ciampini)

(Image: Giordano Ciampini)

Thumbs up

Bill Murray. Because he made a confusing joke about bankrolling Ivan Reitman’s restaurant, Montecito. Because he showed up to Bill Murray Day in full pageant regalia. Because he’s Bill Murray.

Midnight Madness. This year’s batch of late-night screenings—including Canadian 70s exploitation send-up The Editor, ‘80s and ‘90s action throwbacks The Guest and Big Game, the incredible It Follows (which manages to make the premise of a sexually transmitted demonic possession not stupid) and People’s Choice winner What We Do In The Shadows—all wowed crowds and critics alike. Some people even liked the new Kevin Smith movie, somehow.

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TIFF 2014

TIFF Spotted

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Spotted: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez strolling through the Eaton Centre, kissing in The Bay

On Saturday, Justin Bieber strolled through the Eaton Centre with on-again, off-again girlfriend Selena Gomez. Three beefy security guards flanked the couple as a crowd of tweens converged to snap photos of The Biebs’s waning career (and Brett Lawrie jersey). No word yet on whether Gomez has been diagnosed with Stockholm Syndrome—why else would the starlet be caught kissing Bieber in the cosmetics section of what sure looks like The Bay?

You can find where your favourite A-lister was spotted on our TIFF celebrity map. See someone famous around town yourself? Let us know at tips@torontolife.com, or tweet with the hashtag #TIFF14spotted.

The Informer

People

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Did Justin Bieber bribe a Canada Border Services chief? 

(Image: Justin Bieber/Facebook)

(Image: Justin Bieber/Facebook)

Now Magazine is reporting that Justin Bieber, Canada’s exasperating stepchild, has figured out an innovative way of getting his American friends with criminal histories over the border. According to Now’s sources, Bieber was able to trade “up to $10,000 worth” of backstage passes for temporary resident permits for at least two allegedly sketchy members of his entourage. A chief at the Niagara Falls border crossing where Now says all of this took place was apparently fired after higher-ups learned of the indiscretion. It remains unclear when, exactly, the incident occurred.

The Informer

People

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Jersey Shore Meets the Lake Shore

Cabana Pool Bar, Charles Khabouth’s Vegas-style oasis in the Port Lands, is a star-studded playground for the buxom, Botoxed and booze-soaked. Here, a look at the wildest, most orgiastic antics to date

Jersey Shore Meets the Lake Shore

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The Informer

Politics

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Rob Ford’s world imploded last night: a chronological recap

(Image: Christopher Drost)

(Image: Christopher Drost)

Prior to Wednesday night, there were people who would have said it was impossible to force Rob Ford into substance-abuse treatment, or even to get him to admit to having a substance-abuse problem. They were almost right.

The mayor did admit to having a problem last night, and he did announce that, although he wouldn’t be dropping out of the mayoral race, he would be taking a leave of absence and seeking counselling. Except, he did these things only after setting in motion the most remarkable media shitstorm in memory.

As it turns out, three separate newspapers were all working on different stories about things the mayor did while drunk or on drugs in the past six weeks. All three stories were published within hours of the press learning about Ford’s leave.

Here’s a chronological rundown of the night.

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The Informer

People

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Drake is being sued over a beating at Rob Ford’s favourite nightclub

(Image: Drake/Instagram)

(Image: Drake/Instagram)

Drake is now the second Tononto-area music superstar to have recently been taken to court over an alleged assault in Toronto—the difference being that he, unlike Justin Bieber, isn’t the one who supposedly administered the beating. The story, according to the Globe, goes like this:

In August 2012, a man named Akiel Catwell was at Muzik Nightclub, a late-night venue at Exhibition Place, for an afterparty related to Drake’s annual OVOFest. After last call, Catwell claims he was walking outside with his girlfriend when he came across Waka Flocka Flame, the Atlanta-based rapper. Catwell’s girlfriend posed for a picture with Mr. Flame, and then, for reasons unclear, the rapper’s bodyguards beat Catwell into unconsciousness, breaking three of his teeth in the process. (The details of the beating haven’t been proven in court.)

Now, Catwell is suing not only Waka Flocka Flame, but also Drake, OVO Inc., and Muzik, for $4.8 million—a sum Drake’s lawyer has called “grossly excessive.” To be clear, Drake isn’t alleged to have been anywhere near the beating; his only connection to the incident is that the night’s entertainment happened to be related to his festival.

This is only the latest in a string of newsworthy happenings at Muzik over the past few months. The nightclub has become known as a favourite hangout of Rob Ford’s. (For those keeping track, that’s Bieber, Drake, and Ford in one article: the Toronto clickbait trifecta.) Also, its owner, Zlato Starkovski, was instrumental in persuading Exhibition Place’s board to ban electronic dance music events in city-owned buildings on the Ex grounds, leaving Muzik as the only sizeable EDM venue in the area.

The Informer

Sports

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The stakes at today’s Canada vs. USA hockey game are higher than we thought

(Image: @CommandSign/Twitter)

(Image: @CommandSign/Twitter)

As if Canada needed any extra motivation to win against the USA in this afternoon’s men’s hockey semi-final game in Sochi, here’s a hell of a bet: winner take all, loser take Justin Bieber. This billboard is located in Skokie, Illinois, on the side of a building occupied by Command Transportation. Can the loser also be forced to keep any and all videos of Bieber peeing into cups?

CBC’s coverage of the game starts at noon, and it will be streaming online.

The Informer

Culture

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Drake, Deadmau5, Bieber and others make the 2014 Juno nomination list

(Image: CARAS/iPhoto)

(Image: CARAS/iPhoto)

Drake arguably doesn’t need Juno Awards, what with his wealth and his mega-fame—and that’s a good thing, because he seldom wins them. Nevertheless, he’s on the just-released 2014 nomination list several times over, and so are a bunch of other Toronto artists.

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The Informer

People

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Justin Bieber gets Rob Ford’s sympathy after both face assault-related accusations

How do we know that Justin Bieber’s latest legal scrape is serious? Even Rob Ford feels sorry for him.

“He’s a young guy,” the mayor said this morning during one of his regular call-in appearances on a Washington D.C. radio show called The Sports Junkies. “I wish I was as successful as he was. He’s 19 years old. Think about when you were 19.” Maybe what the Stratford-raised pop star needs is a visit to the mayor’s office for some kind of “scared straight”-type intervention.

On Wednesday night, Bieber came to Toronto to surrender himself at 52 Division, on Dundas Street West, where he braved crowds of reporters and fans on his way to the door. He has been charged in connection with the assault of a Toronto limo driver on December 30. His March 10 court date is bound to be one of the weirdest days Old City Hall has ever seen. There are no courtrooms big enough.

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The Informer

People

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Justin Bieber officially has an even worse reputation than the Toronto Maple Leafs

(Image: @RonTerrell/Twitter)

(Image: @RonTerrell/Twitter)

The Toronto Maple Leafs may be chronic underperformers, but we’ll say this for them: they’re no longer anywhere close to being Canada’s biggest international embarrassment. Justin Bieber has been edging up the list lately, but yesterday’s DUI arrest in Miami seems to have clinched the top spot for him, at least for the moment. What you see above is his official mug shot on the Jumbotron at the American Airlines Center during Thursday night’s Leafs game against the Dallas Stars. Toronto eventually lost the game 7-1, ending a spectacular six-game winning streak.

A day later, premier Kathleen Wynne went on record as saying that Bieber needs love (and presumably not from Brazilian prostitutes). “It’s hard for me to think about Justin Bieber, who is such a talented young Canadian kid from Stratford, other than as a mom,” she said, proving she’s earned her nickname.

Rob Ford is going to need to step it up if he wants to compete in these shamelympics.

The Informer

Random Stuff

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Subway ads imagine what life would be like if celebrity mags covered struggling moms

(Image: Courtesy of WoodGreen Community Services)

(Image: Courtesy of WoodGreen Community Services)

When Justin Bieber (allegedly) gets high on $800-a-bottle, prescription-strength cough syrup, the news is splashed all over the covers of supermarket tabloids. A new ad campaign for Toronto-based WoodGreen Community Services imagines what the world would be like if the same amount of attention were paid to the everyday problems and humiliations of struggling single mothers. The posters, which have started appearing in TTC stations, are note-perfect imitations of the covers of weekly celebrity rags like US Weekly, Star and In Touch. As subway advertising goes, they’re unusually poignant.

The tagline—“What if we cared about those living in poverty as much as we care about celebrities?”—is a little puzzling. (Would anybody really want to live in a world that fetishized poverty, other than maybe teenage fans of the musical Rent?) Regardless, the campaign by DDB Canada gets its point across: celebrities consume vast amounts of attention and money, while those who could actually use a little extra notice and cash are toiling away in total obscurity, trying to pay rent and keep their kids fed.

The women in the ads are actual clients of WoodGreen’s Homeward Bound program, which helps single mothers earn college diplomas and start careers. More information about the program, and the ad campaign, is available on WoodGreen’s website. And embedded below are some larger images of the posters, plus a TV spot on the same theme:

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The Informer

People

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Year in Review: seven of Toronto’s biggest losers of 2013

Who had a terrible year in 2013?

During 2013, some of this city’s leaders, sports stars and entertainers suffered setbacks on such an epic scale that their shortcomings can almost be said to have defined the year. Here’s our list of seven Torontonians who—whether because of some sort of wrongdoing, or as a result of sheer bad luck—managed to captivate us (and, in some cases, the entire world) with their misadventures. (Be sure to check out our Winners of 2013, too.)

Who had a terrible year in 2013?
Rob Ford: International Embarrassment

We thought it couldn’t get any worse for the mayor when he was booted from office last year. Then 2013 happened. He’s become so infamous that it’s almost unnecessary to include him on a list like this, Mr. Mayor, stop saying things. Stop doing things. You’re in hibernation. You’re Buddha under the Bodhi tree for the next 10 months, until you’re quite possibly re-elected. We just want to say that while everyone keeps bringing up the Chris Farley resemblance, our money is on Rosie O’Donnell to play the lead role in the inevitable biopic.

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The Informer

Random Stuff

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Toronto’s Best Tweeters: top Twitter feeds from local entertainers, athletes and media personalities

Toronto’s Twitter-happy celebrity set supplies a constant stream of bon mots, feuds and photo scandals, so choosing our favourite social media mavens meant scrolling through thousands of tweets. We settled on 10 notables whose 140-character missives are both funny and revealing. Some are native Torontonians, others have moved here more recently and one or two have only a tenuous tie to the city (but are just too good to pass up). Here, a list of 10 Twitter virtuosos, and why we chose them.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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The Dish Power Rankings: Top Chefs and Bieber power

Toronto Life’s weekly assessment of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.

On Monday, the contestants for season three of Top Chef Canada were announced, catapulting their respective restaurants onto this week’s power rankings. Meanwhile, the mighty power of the Biebs bumps up the hype for an Annex diner, and the depth of Toronto’s appetite for brunch tacos is revealed.

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The Informer

Features

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Inside Pearson Airport’s ultra-luxe private hub for celebs, executives and well-to-dos

The Other Side of Pearson

Ever wonder why famous types are rarely spotted idling by the baggage carousel or in the customs line? At Pearson, three deluxe operators exist solely to convey the super-rich in and out of the city. We slipped past ­security long enough to find out how the 0.01 per cent flies.

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