There's no doubt that Canada holds a special place in both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's hearts, as Toronto used to be Meghan's home, it is where the couple made their first public appearance at the Invictus Games in 2017, and it is where their son Archie spent his first Christmas. Following the announcement that they would be stepping back as senior members of the royal family and plan to divide their time between the UK and North America, we take a look at some of Meghan's favourite Canadian hotspots. Keep scrolling to see where the couple could return...
For seven years, actress Meghan lived in Toronto while she was filming legal drama Suits, in which she played paralegal Rachel Zane. Speaking of the city, Los Angeles-born Meghan said: "The people are so kind, I love the food scene and I really love exploring little nooks around the city with my two dogs. I love how much green space there is tucked away," She added: "You wouldn't expect that, and it reminds me of LA in a lot of ways."
The former actress gave fans a glimpse inside her stunning property in the Annex via her now-deleted Instagram account. With wooden floorboards, plush cream corner sofas, an entire shelving unit dedicated to displaying her impressive footwear collection and wooden decking in her cosy back garden, the purple two-storey house had a chic yet homely feel to it. And it's great location meant an abundance of vintage-style shops and cafes were right on her doorstep.
Back in 2017, the couple stayed at the Fairmont Royal York hotel, which has housed several members of the British royal family since it opened in 1929. The Queen and her parents George VI and the Queen Mother have stayed at the four-star hotel during their visits to Canada. As well as being located minutes from the city's attractions - including The CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Scotiabank Arena, and the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts - it also offers babysitting services, a spa and four restaurants.
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Health and exercise
Considering she lived with her two beloved dogs Bogart and Guy in Toronto, it comes as no surprise that Meghan liked to join other dogwalkers at Bickford Park and Trinity Bellwoods Park. Located in the west end of Toronto, the latter was once home to Toronto’s first university but now houses flea-markets and yoga sessions. The Duchess has previously spoken about her love of yoga, so she may even have attended sessions there!
She reportedly loved to visit W Skincare which was close to where she was filming for Suits. Speaking of Meghan, Director Jeff Eltom told The Kit she was “Very down to earth, exceedingly polite and genuine with everyone.” One of her favourite treatments was their signature cold laser therapy which is a non-invasive treatment that the website says helps replenish the skin’s natural moisture barrier, address dark circles and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Lucky for Meghan, there is one in Toronto and one in Vancouver!
During the couple's recent break on Vancouver Island over Christmas, they were spotted several times hiking in Horth Hill Regional Park. Speaking to CTV News, Asymina Kantorowicz and Iliya Pavlovic said they were using a selfie stick to take photos of themselves among the natural scenery when Meghan approached and offered to take a photo. "In that moment the only thing I could think to say, 'There's only so much that selfie sticks can do. She laughed and responded with something like, 'We'll have to do better,' and then Harry said, 'No pressure.'"
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We've seen the full force of 'the Meghan effect' since she has become part of the royal family, causing most of her outfits to sell out almost instantly. And it turns out she has always loved fashion, frequenting many shops while living in Toronto. While the mother-of-one revealed she loved Cabaret Vintage on Queen St, the store sadly closed in 2016 after a 20-year run. However, she may want to return to Ani & Wren for her cashmere staples and Canadian brand Aritzia.
Kensington Market is also one of the coolest places in Toronto, with the bohemian neighbourhood offering vintage boutiques and one of her go-to bakeries, Blackbird Bakery Co. After getting engaged to Harry whilst cooking a roast, we imagine foodie Meghan would love to return.
French patisserie Nadège was one of Meghan’s most regular hangouts and it is not too far from Trinity Bellwoods Park. After her long dog walk or yoga session, what better way to refuel than with a fresh pastry or macaron?
Just a stone's throw from Nadège is Noce, one of the city’s most popular Italian restaurants. Meghan’s Suits co-star Patrick J. Adams and his wife Troian Bellisario were often guests there during filming, and with Meghan and Patrick sharing a sweet friendship, we like to think she joined them on regular evenings before she became part of the royal family. The kitchen offers a wide selection of Italian snacks, an extensive wine list and seasonal and traditional cocktails.
Before she met Harry, the 38-year-old dated celebrity chef Cory Vitiello for two years from 2014 to 2016. And the perks of having a chef as a boyfriend is the delicious food! While he was working at Flock in Toronto, Meghan would regularly visit for meals with friends, posting pictures of her delicious food on Instagram, including pulled chicken sandwiches and chickpea salads. Yum!
Prince Harry's wife also loves French restaurant Deep Cove Chalet in North Saanich, Greater Victoria, which sits on the southern end of Vancouver Island. Bev Koffel, who owns the waterfront restaurant with her husband Pierre Koffel, told the Vancouver Sun she saw the royal couple and met with their security guards at the restaurant over their December break.
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Meghan has previously enjoyed several get-togethers at Soho House Toronto, a members club for those working in the creative industries. From the rooftop that boasts views of the city to the beautifully tranquil library and even the Pantry Bar complete with a cheese and meat counter, its privacy and delicious food are bound to be popular with the Duchess.
Another of her go-to places with her girlfriends was cocktail bar Cold Tea which is tucked away inside Kensington Mall. A single red light above the door, a speakeasy vibe and delicious cocktail menu - what's not to love?
With its incredible carved wooden interior, it's easy to see why Meghan visited Bar Raval in Toronto. Aside from the interior, the selection of little tapas dishes and cocktails with hilarious names like 'HELP, I'M ALIVE!' And 'Dressed to Suppress' are enough to keep you going back for more.
So if you're stopping by any of these royal-approved neighbourhoods and hangouts, you may be in with the chance of bumping into Prince Harry and Meghan themselves!