Linda Barnard

Linda Barnard

Award-winning film and travel writer
Travel Media Association of Canada, Society of American Travel Writers, Toronto Film Critics Association
My company is Spellbound: captivating writing


Oberoi Hotels & Resorts India: Comfort and care taken to new levels

INDIA—Maybe it was the rose petals showered from above as we arrived, or the sachets discovered tucked into luggage, the cleaning kit left beside an iPad or the welcoming ceremony at each hotel. No, it was definitely the pony.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

How to go shellfish foraging in P.E.I.

Malpeque Bay, P.E.I. Turns out there’s some truth to that saying about being “happy as a clam.”. On the way to Malpeque Bay to forage for shellfish with PEI Coastal Experiences’ owner, John Martin, the question was irresistible. “The way I see it, a clam lives in a spot all of its life, and when it finds a secure spot, it grows to be a lovely clam and is content to be (there),” said Martin, who seems to know just about everything about Prince Edward Island clams and their shellfish cousins.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Two hotels offer hippest stays on Oahu

Two 1960s Honolulu hotels have recently been reborn as hip stays. The Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club, which opened in 2016 after an extensive renovation, embraces a retro-surfer vibe with a pool smack in the middle of the open-concept reception and courtyard. The modest oval pool has a cheeky “Wish You Were Here” mosaic on the bottom, best seen from room balconies around the hotel.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

In Udaipur, tranquility in the shadow of luxurious palaces

With a centuries-old palace as the backdrop for an early morning yoga session beside calm Lake Pichola, Udaipur lives up to its reputation as a place blessed with good vibrations and movie-screen good looks.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Feel your soul soar at the Taj Mahal

“Feel you are in paradise. Don’t feel you are just tourists to take some pictures and go."
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

UFA @ 100: Metropolis - The Robotic Woman

Toronto film critic Linda Barnard reexamined Brigitte Helm's Maria in METROPOLIS.
Goethe-Institut Toronto blog Link to Story

Playful Jake Gyllenhaal sees himself in Stronger role

Stronger star and producer Jake Gyllenhaal laughs and gives the OK to swipe a scented candle from the downtown hotel room during our interview at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month. “Jake said I could.” Tempting, but it stays on the table.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Tatiana Maslany: the stories that made movie Stronger

Boston Marathon bombing story required digging into the script and meeting with Erin Hurley, the real life character she plays. Tatiana Maslany leaves the busy company of Orphan Black’s fictional clones to play real-life character Erin Hurley in the Boston Marathon bombing drama, Stronger. Co-star Jake Gyllenhaal is generating early Oscar buzz as Hurley’s ex-husband Jeff Bauman, whose mangled lower legs were amputated after the 2013 terrorist attack.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al Mansour; bringing Frankenstein’s creator to life

As Saudi Arabia’s first female director, her debut film, Wadjda (2012), was about an 11-year-old girl who defies convention to raise money for a coveted-but-forbidden green bicycle. A critical and box office success – and made in a kingdom without cinemas – Wadjda was Saudi Arabia’s first film submission to the Academy Awards, in 2013.
The National Abu Dhabi/ Link to Story

At TIFF premier, Lady Gaga invites ‘an authentic and real look into my life’

In the documentary ‘Gaga: Five Foot Two,’ one of pop music’s biggest superstars comes across as candid, funny, furiously dedicated to her art, yet fragile.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Here's how you hide a star at the Toronto International Film Festival

From private air terminals to underground hotel entrances, there are lots of ways to keep celebs from being seen during TIFF.
Toronto Star/ Link to Story

Cool and Unusual Things to do on Your Netherlands Vacation

Go north from Amsterdam, curious traveller, even just across the river IJ (pronounced “eye”) by free ferry from Centraal Station to uncover fun and offbeat experiences to set you apart from other Netherlands visitors. You might be the only Canadian to drop by in weeks, or months, at some of these places.
Canadian Traveller Link to Story


Linda Barnard

A freelance writer covering film and travel, I have more than three decades of experience in deadline-driven digital and print journalism. I'm the former movie writer and a staff film critic at the Toronto Star and a National Newspaper Awards winner (Arts & Entertainment) and winner Best International Travel Story, SATW Canadian Chapter. I have extensive experience as a restaurant critic and food, wine and cocktail writer.
I write for The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press, Canadian Traveller Magazine, Fodor's, Movie Entertainment Magazine, Montecristo Magazine, The National Abu Dhabi and others.
My creative clients include Telefilm Canada and Star Metro Media.
I write eloquent speeches, craft well-written targeted content and can provide media training.