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Wednesday 30 November 2016

Honest Ed's

Honest Ed's All Wet But He Never Soaks You.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 581 Bloor Street West
Date: Nov 2016
Website:  www.mirvish.com

  A bargain centre like this happens once in a lifetime.   Honest Ed's opened in 1948 and will close its doors for good on Dec 31st, 2016 after almost 70 years in business.  It was a place where you could find almost anything for sale and usually at a great deal.

Honest Ed Attracts Squirrels.  At These Prices They Think He's Nuts.

  Honest Ed Mirvish was the owner of the store until he passed away in 2007 at the age of 92.  He is also known for his contributions to Toronto theatre including operating the Royal Alexandra Theatre as well as building the Princess of Wales Theatre.

Honest Ed's is For The Birds. Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!

  Honest Ed was known for throwing his own birthday party and everyone was invited.  There would be free drinks, food, prizes, rides and more.   Since 1987 he hosted an annual Christmas turkey give-away and through the years has given away 40,000 turkeys.  Both of these events drew huge crowds and proved extremely popular for the store.

Only The Floors Are Crooked.
 Honest Ed's an Idiot.  His Prices are Cents Less.

  Honest Ed always has catchy slogans and the store is covered with them both inside and out.

There's No Place Like This Place, Any Place.

  The 160,000 square foot store stretches along Bloor Street West from Bathurst.Street.

Honest Ed Ain't Upper Crust But His Bargain Prices Save You Dough
Honest Ed Alley.

  In the middle of the store is Honest Ed Alley.  A glass walkway connects the two parts of the store.  Looking south from this walkway you can see the CN Tower.

Ed's Office  If You Do Not Have The Combination Please Use The Door At Bloor & Bathurst

  On the west side of the alley is a vault door.   It used to have a sign hanging over it stating that it was Ed's office.  Perhaps it is a special spot where Ed used to do his work or it could just be the emergency exit.  Who knows?

Honest Ed Has A Problem.  High Prices Bug Him.

   The large Honest Ed's signage has 23,000 light bulbs that bring the corner of Bathurst and Bloor to life at night.

Honest Ed Is Never Right And His Bargains Are Never Left.
Ed's Wacky Wirld.

   Inside the world famous bargain centre you can see why they say "Come in and Get Lost".  There are tables of merchandise everywhere and stairs in every corner.  It is very easy to get turned around inside the store and not be able to find your way out.  To make matters worse, all the entrances are one way turnstiles so once you are inside you have no choice but to shop your way to the checkout.

The Nicest People In The World Pass Through Our Doors.

  There are two sign painters who make hundreds of signs each week.  These hand painted signs are used to advertise the prices inside the store.  Since the store declared that it was closing, these signs have been made available for purchase so that the people of Toronto can hold onto a tiny piece of Honest Ed's once it is gone.

Elwood with Harvey The Invisible Rabbit.

  We finally made our way to the checkout line.  Ed Mirvish has made his store a one of a kind shopping experience.  As we left the checkout there was a painting on the wall of Harvey the invisible rabbit from one of the Mirvish theatre productions.  Now is your last chance to visit Honest Ed's because soon it will be something people may not believe existed.  When you try to explain about the giant store with cheap prices, thousands of lights and an owner who kept giving things away for free, they may think you are cuckoo.  Or did Ed's prices already make you that way?

This location is near Bathurst subway. Visit other Toronto TTC stations.

Map of Our World
Honest Ed's

Post # 147

1 comment:

  1. My last visit to Ed's was on Friday, December 30th - I left quickly once I realise that everything was gone except for the blue shopping bags and the tables - the regulars were gone too. For me, the closing of Honest Ed's happened earlier, when they finished closing the woman's department on the 3rd floor - that's where I got most of my clothes for the past ten years! As someone who didn't have a car, I stared shopping at Eds even back when I lived far up in North York / Scarborough because I could get everything done in one location. I'll pick up food containers on one side of the first floor (same area as the Elvis heads, ceramic mug and stirrer for $0.69), go up the the third for clothes ($9.99 for 100% cotton Bawa brand dresses - I once saw the same dress at Vaughan Mills for $39.99), go down to the second for linens ($2.99 100% cotton fitted sheet for twin), basement for gardening and hardware where I've brought mini-roses and floral print shopping bags I can throw in the washer, then back up to drugs for lotions and $1 costume jewellery, I have a $2.99 quartz watch that I still wear now. Grocery used to be in the basement...where Fabricland was, I think, with Italian imports I haven't found anywhere else, Gigi brand raspberry jam with 80% fruit content - I should have stocked up! I know there would be a sale after Christmas but I didn't go back till Friday...

    I never spoke to Ed Mirvish, but I remember seeing him in an office on the 3rd floor, with the door half open.

    I will miss talking to other friendly strangers as we rival through the pallets on the third floor. This last month, a woman said hello to me, saying she recognize me from when I was walking around Chinatown an hour ago!

    - Georgia


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