After nine years as the host of beloved lifestyle show Cityline, Tracy Moore says she’s as excited to go to work as she was on Day 1. “I still feel like I’m in the honeymoon phase,” the mother of two tells Hello! “It’s pretty incredible. It’s a dream gig.” Tracy, 42, stepped into the role soon after welcoming her now nine-year-old son Sidney, with her husband, Lio Perron. At the time, her favourite episodes to shoot were Fashion Fridays, when she was joined by experts to learn about the latest trends. “I go through different [phases] when different days make the most sense for me,” she tells us. “When we got this new house [in 2010] I started to focus on Home Day because I was interested in a lot of the DIY projects. After having my second child, Eva [who is now seven years old], it became Wednesdays because there’s more of a focus on parenting. Every day is special in its own way.”
For Tracy, the personal and the professional mix handily. In the ultimate “home day,” the charismatic star welcomed us into her Toronto area residence and gave us a glimpse into her life, reflected on ways it intersects with her work and spoke fondly about the stars in her own life: her family.
Tracy, after all these years on TV, what is it like to have an audience who feel like they know you so well?
I think it’s a big deal.
We’re in people’s lives in a very intimate way. So when I go grocery shopping, people will come up to me and take a piece of lint off my sleeve, they’ll tuck my tag in. It’s like we’ve already established a relationship so let’s forget the formalities. I find people start telling me very personal stories. I have no problem with that. Let’s skip the small talk!
You must be excited that Cityline has grown, as it’s broadcast in cities in the U.S. this fall?
It’s incredible. The new viewers are going to get a taste of the warmth that the show delivers, along with all of the information. It’s like friends meeting everyday. You’re at home having coffee, and we’re in the studio having coffee. I’m very excited to have new viewers be part of our family.
Have there ever been segments on the show that were inspired by your own experiences?
Definitely. The segment we just did about being a caregiver for aging parents was inspired by my experience. I’ve been pushing for it for weeks because I’m going through it.
Which episodes are you most proud of?
My proudest moments are when I can just be who I am in front of the camera. I’m not trying to put a barrier up between me and my viewers. I will crywith you, laugh with you and be completely invested when the topic is worth really getting into. I’m there as a moderator between these great experts but I am living that life with you. I live with body image issues, I deal with kids that are struggling in school, I deal with parents who are sick and I feel it with the viewers.
Is there a celebrity you’d love to have as a guest some day?
Oprah, or I would take either [Barack or Michelle] Obama. I’ll take any Obama, I would take the kids! [Laughs] I spoke to Oprah on a red carpet once. I don’t remember what I asked. I remember she said, “What a smart question,” and I just went blank after that. I was like “Oprah thinks I’m smart!” That’s the closest I’ve gotten. If I could get her in-studio that would be amazing.
Besides hosting the show, you’re also busy at work on your clothing line, Tracy Moore Designed by Freda’s. How have your experiences on TV influenced your style?
Fashion has been important from the get-go. It doesn’t matter what we discuss on the show, the tweets, emails and messages I get will say, “Where did you get that shirt?” Having started out as a newswoman, I had no idea how much people would be invested in what I wear. I wanted a capsule collection, something that really represents all parts of my life. There are certain elements of my look that will always be repeated: a pencil skirt, a jumpsuit, a peplum. These are all styles that are very much representative of who I am.
What’s the first thing you like to do after work?
I come home and go to my second job as Mommy. That means I’m coming home, getting lunches prepared, getting the dog ready, we’re going to go pick up the kids, getting them started on their homework ... Luckily, I don’t have to make dinner, that’s Lio.
Does he have a specialty?
He makes everything well. My favourite dish that he makes is pasta with shrimp and a rose sauce. It’s amazing. He’s been making that for me since before we had our first child. If I want something special, that’s the one.
Did becoming a parent change your perspective on your work?
Absolutely. I was a news reporter before I had kids and I’m not sure if I would be able to go back to that. I didn’t realize how difficult it was to be out there every day covering homicides, fires and natural disasters. When you have a child and you’re thinking about how this affects them, it’s very difficult to think about. I feel like I would be a puddle on the ground every morning! Being a parent informs everything I do now.
Have your children seen you on TV?
Oh yeah, they’re so over me. The only thing they want to know is, “Are we going to be a part of your Halloween show?” They know there’s candy.
How do you and your family like to spend time together?
We play a lot. I play a lot of creative and imagination games with my kids because I feel like a child, and I definitely can get on their level. Sometimes we’re all just sitting here reading, which I love. I know we’re each in our own little world.
How does your husband, Lio, complement you?
We both met as reporters, which was interesting. I would say he is the backbone and usually the big-idea guy for almost every single move I have made. He encouraged me to audition for Cityline and to start a clothing line. He is my number-one cheerleader and an incredible source of support. He’s also my co-parent. A lot of people complain about their husbands but he is cooking the meals, he is organizing all of their extracurricular activities every semester, he’s very much involved. I feel like I need that, I’m not sure what I would do without it. I wouldn’t be functioning at the level I’m functioning at without him, let’s put it that way.
What’s the sweetest thing he’s done for you lately?
The sweetest thing he’s done for me lately is recognize that I was overworked and decided to create a playdate for the kids and their friends. He took them all to the park, bought them ice cream and kept them there for hours. When he recognizes that I’m coming to the end of my rope, he’s just very good with taking action.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are today?
I had to be OK with taking on a role that was new for me and also representing something the role [at Cityline] hadn’t represented in the past, and that’s women of colour. It’s not the type of thing I wake up every day and think about, but it’s there. I had to go in telling myself, “I’m going to do this the way only I know how” because I only know how to be myself. It’s been an amazing process and I think most of what I was thinking during those first days of hosting Cityline was how lucky I am. That gratitude really carried me through.