The Weeknd: Toronto's love affair with Prince

Written by

The Weeknd spoke for Canadian and Prince fans everywhere when he tweeted "we live in a world where Prince passes away?" Here's why Prince loved Toronto and Toronto loves Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson's music is said to defy boundaries, but his life also defied borders. The man who melded every genre of twentieth-century American popular music and called it Prince also called Canada, and Toronto, his second home. "I love Toronto," he told the Canadian Press back in 2004, then married to local Manuela Testolini. "It's cosmopolitan. There's all sorts of different kinds of people everywhere you go in Toronto, there's all sorts of great music, great restaurants, great night spots that don't respond to a lot of American playlists and have playlists which I really dig. It's a real melting pot in every sense of the word." And given the response to yesterday's news of the 57-year-old's passing at his rural Minnesota estate, Toronto, and Canada, loved him like one of their own.

"Prince was a Toronto legend and he's not even from here," user @DreMacsAMillion tweeted out. "Ask your parents." Indeed, Prince spent a lot of time in the early 2000s in his Bridle Path mansion in the reclusive northern neighbourhood until he and Testolini divorced in 2006. He recorded his 2004 comeback album Musicology at Mississauga's Metalworks Studios, for which he used his rooftop portrait against Toronto's financial sector as the backcover photo. "Musicology is the first record I've recorded in Toronto and I can really feel the difference," he said at the time. "It has a completely unique sound that came from the total disregard for what's happening in American music, and for the workings of the American music industry."

An adoptive Torontonian to the end, one of his last appearances was for a pair of surprise concerts at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts late last month. And his influence has a special resonance in a city which is home and native land to one of Prince's spiritual offspring, Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd. "i can't believe what's happening right now," the artist tweeted shortly after the news broke. "i just woke up but it feels like I'm dreaming. we live in a world where Prince passes away???" Do you have any memories of Prince's time in Canada? Share them with us below.

Source: The Canadian Press / Twitter: @theweeknd, @DreMacsAMillion, @JoshMatlow