Ed’s Warehouse was once located at 266 King St W (at Ed Mirvish Way on the northeast corner) in the Entertainment District of Toronto.
The Reid Building
Built in 1904, the Reid Building was one of the first manufacturing buildings on the north side of King St W. The five-storey, Edwardian Classical style warehouse was designed for the Featherbone Novelty Manufacturing Company by architect Alexander Frank Wickson. Shortly after being constructed, the building was acquired by novelty company’s manager, Alexander T Reid. The now painted building is made of brick, brick cladding, stone and wood detailing. While the original building on the northwest corner of King West and Duncan was built in 1904, there were additions on the north (1909) and east (1913) sides of it.
The Beginning of a New Era in the Neighbourhood
In the early 1960s, Ed Mirvish, the man behind Honest Ed’s, had finished his restoration of the Royal Alexandra Theatre. At the time, that stretch of King St West was desolate, so to attract patrons to the theatre, Ed purchased the Reid Building and converted it to a restaurant. Mr Mirvish started the gentrification process in what would become the centre of the Entertainment District.
The Menu, Dress Attire & Outrageous Decor of Ed’s Warehouse
Ed’s Warehouse opened in the mid-1960s. The menu was simple. Appetizers included shrimp cocktail, salad, tomato juice and French onion soup. The entrée was a choice of various cuts of steak that came with mushrooms and French fried onion rings or prime rib of beef au jus with Yorkshire pudding. All of the main dishes were served with mashed potatoes, tender green peas, fresh rolls, creamery butter and pickles. For dessert, there was apple pie and a selection of chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ice cream.
For men, a jacket and tie were required and if you came without a tie, Ed supplied it. The décor of Ed’s Warehouse was an attraction in itself and included antiques, red brocade, massive vases, a variety of lamps including many Tiffany ones, red tablecloths, photos of celebrities and much more.
Ed’s Restaurant Empire
Over the decades, Ed acquired more warehouses along the section of King Street West and opened Ed’s Seafood, Ed’s Chinese, Ed’s Italian, Old Ed’s & Ed’s Folly. Ed’s Warehouse closed in the late 1990s while Old’s Ed’s, the last of Ed’s remaining restaurants, closed in 2000.
The Reid Building received heritage status in 1984. Today, it’s home to the gym and health care centre, Cardio-Go’s King West Club as well as offices and apartments.
Did You Know?
- The land the Reid Building resides on was once home to the first campus of Upper Canada College at Russell Square.
- When the Reid Building was first constructed, it was beginning of the early 20th century industrial/manufacturing era for the now Entertainment District neighbourhood.
- The building was completed in the same year as the Great Fire of Toronto 1904 and was located only a few blocks west of where the devastating fire occurred.
- The 1909 and 1913 additions to the Reid Building were designed by Toronto’s renown architect duo of Sproatt & Rolph. They also were the architects of the Canada Life Building and the Christie, Brown & Company factory.
- In its time, Ed’s Warehouse was one of the most famous restaurants in Toronto.