Honest Ed’s was located at 581 Bloor St W, between Bathurst and Markham Sts in the Mirvish Village neighbourhood of Toronto.
Ed Mirvish & His Beloved Store
The discount shopping landmark was opened in 1948 by Ed and Anne Mirvish. Starting with one store near the corner of Bloor and Bathurst, the family acquired several properties along Bloor, eventually occupying a city block. The store was put together using existing homes and buildings, which made the store a maze to walk through.
There’s no place….like this place….anyplace!!!
Along with giving free turkeys away at Christmas and Thanksgiving, Ed was known for his marketing stunts like loss-leader bargains. The store was also known for the hand-painted posters with funny slogans, including:
- “Don’t just stand there!!! Buy something!”
- “Come in and get lost.”
- “Honest Ed is for the birds!!! Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!”
- “Honest Ed’s a flop! But his prices will make you flip!”
Along with being a philanthropist, Ed Mirvish was also a patron of the theatre operating the Royal Alexandra, Princess of Wales, Ed Mirvish and CAA Theatres. Also a restaurateur, Mr Mirvish ran several restaurants on King St West, including Ed’s Warehouse. It was said that when Ed restored the beautiful Royal Alex Theatre, he started the rejuvenation of what we know today as the Entertainment District.
Ed Mirvish passed away in 2007. Honest Ed’s continued to operate for 68 years and closed on December 31, 2016.
Mirvish Village Today
In 2013, the property was sold to Westbank Corp. The real estate development company is building Mirvish Village Condos. It will be a rental-only development with 800+ units and is expected to be completed in 2022.
On Bathurst St, just north of Bloor St W, there’s a parkette dedicated to Ed and Anne Mirvish.
Part of the iconic Honest Ed’s sign is being refurbished, and there are plans to install it at the back doors of the Ed Mirvish Theatre on Victoria St. The sign had over 23,000 bulbs.
Honest Ed’s Photos
- Heritage Toronto
- Mirvish: Honest Ed’s
- Royal Alexandra Theatre: History
- CTV News – Toronto: Honest Ed’s sign will be moved to Ed Mirvish Theatre
- Vintage Photos: City of Toronto Archives
- Artist Rendering Illustration: Westbank Corp & Henriquez Partners Architects