TORONTO (Reuters) - The future bride of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, may have been born and raised in California, but for much of the past seven years the actress has called Toronto home.
The city where she first met Harry was the backdrop for her TV series “Suits” and the subject of many of her now-deleted social media posts.
The Annex neighbourhood where she lived was first alerted to the budding romance when Canadian police “started hanging out in their SUVs and they would just stay there, parked revving their vehicles all day and all night,” recalled one neighbour, Russell Leon.
In some of her official outings with Harry, Markle has worn outfits from Canadian casual fashion retailer Aritzia, leading to a “Markle effect” in sales for the store.
“We’re definitely seeing a direct correlation of interest from items that she is seen wearing, down to the exact colour,” said the company’s product director, Verna Ursua Brown.
When Markle wanted a gourmet treat, she often visited fine foods shop, Cheese Boutique. Co-owner Afrim Pristine said he and Markle became friendly over the years, and he introduced the actress to a French butter, which she raved about on social media.
“This and bread was dinner for her, I know, a few nights,” said Pristine about the butter, called Beurre D’Isigny.
She also posted about treatments she received at W Skincare, including a cold laser treatment that claims to build collagen and increase cell turnover, and has no downtime.
“That’s why it’s so big with people who are filming and are on camera,” said owner Lorinda Zimmerman. “They can get a treatment and go straight to camera and work.”
Markle was not shy about sharing her Toronto love, and the city seems to have reciprocated.
“I think she’s a great representative for Toronto. And people love her. She’s so nice and she’s so lovely and ultimately that’s what Torontonians stand for,” said Mila Gaurilova.
Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Richard Chang