Oh, Canada: Mel C Does Toronto
Story and Photos by Aefa Mulholland
It seems I’m not the only one won over by Toronto. I met Mel C., a.k.a. Sporty Spice, before her storming Pride Toronto performance.
MC: I’m a big fan of Toronto! I’m here a lot. I’ve been here many times over the years, but I’ve just had a heavy Toronto visiting period; shooting my own video, doing the Much Music Awards, of course the Spice Tour, my own tour, and I’m back for Pride. I like Canada as a country. I think the people are lovely! I’ve really seen it now. I’ve toured it on a bus, so I’ve seen the whole bloody thing and it’s big… and it’s gorgeous. I really enjoyed seeing places that I hadn’t even heard of. Saskatoon was really lovely. I never, ever thought I’d go to Winnipeg, but I did.
AM:Do you find that here you can nip out to the shops and not get bothered?
MC: Well, life’s pretty similar everywhere. People tend to recognize you and you get a few people asking for autographs. But the funny thing is I tend to get photographed here more than I do in London. I think ‘cause when they know when I’m in town, the paps know where I stay.
AM: Where are your top spots in Toronto?
MC: Each time I’ve come back to Toronto, I’ve been staying in a different hotel. So I should do a little Toronto hotel guide! I like the Four Seasons. The Park Hyatt has a fabulous spa. Next on my list is the Hazelton. I want to stay there next time. It’s a bit more boutique-y, a bit more trendy. And I frequent a restaurant here. A place called Sotto Sotto. It’s a little, family-run Italian place. You must go! It’s fabulous. You go downstairs, it’s quite dark and casual, but there are pictures of all the celebrities that have been there. You can do some real star spotting. It’s all real Hollywood A-listers.
AM: Are you there?
MC: (Proudly) I’m there! I’m up on the wall.
AM: Where do you go out in London these days?
MC: Don’t go clubbing anymore. Did it to death! I used to go out clubbing, from the age of about 17 till about 22. So I peaked too early. I don’t actually go out and socialize in London that much, because when I’m at home, I like to be at home. It’s more restaurants, pubs, and bars that I do. I live in Hampstead. We’ve got some nice little pubs that serve good food. There’s a place, a really old-fashioned pub called the Hollybush. They’ve got the tiniest kitchen, but they do the most fantastic food. Lots of organic stuff, home made pies, and it’s really good.
AM: Is this the first time you’ve played Pride Toronto?
MC: First time I’ve played any Pride! I’ve been to Pride in New York years ago, so this is only my second experience of Pride and I’m here to play. I’m really excited!
AM: Can we expect any acrobatics on stage tonight? Any of your trademark back flips?
MC: Not in these shoes!
Melanie C’s fourth solo album, the fantastic This Time is out on Mel’s Red Girl Records now.