Honest Ed’s

 In 1948 Edwin Mirvish opened his ‘Honest Ed’s Famous Bargain House’ on the southwest corner of Bloor and Bathurst streets.  Honest Ed’s was not only one of the first department stores in the city but also one of the first to offer discount prices on its merchandise.

below: Honest Ed’s, from across the intersection of Bloor and Bathurst streets.

Looking across an intersection of Bloor and Bathurst streets towards Honest Eds store with its big orange, yellow and black signs on grey cladding.  Running around the store, about the level of the top of the first storey, are signs (red lettering on white background) that read "Only the Floors are crooked" , "There's no place like this place, any place", "Come in and Get Lost" and lastly, "A Bargain Centre like this happens only once in a lifetime"

photo taken 25 March 2015

 

below: The same intersection in 1948 when Honest Ed’s Famous Bargain House opened.  As you can see, the exterior was covered with signs with humorous sayings from the beginning.

historical black and white photo of Honest Eds store at Bloor and Bathurst.

photo from Honest Eds store via a 2013 article in The Grid TO

Along with the discount merchandise, Ed Mirvish filled his store with pictures and posters, especially movie posters.   The stairwell walls are covered.

movie posters as well as other kinds of posters in a stairwell at Honest Eds, including a large red poster with a picture of 'Honest Ed Mirvish'.
reflections in a round mirror in a staircase at Honest Eds store showing the stairs, railing and various pictures and posters hanging on the walls

A stairwell at Honest Eds store with a large black and red sign that reads "Honest Ed's an Idiot, his prices are cents-less"
You can buy almost anything at Honest Ed’s!  Clothes, shoes, toys, household items, groceries, hardware, prescriptions, souvenirs, … and so on.

Interior photograph of Honest Eds store with its eclectic mix of merchandise.  Big No Smoking sign on the wall, some old movie posters on the wall too.

aisle in a discount bargain store.  White wooden shelves and bins, lots of red signs, cashier sign as well.  Honest Eds interior, ground floor, kitchen ware,

There are hundreds of pictures of actors and other famous (and no so famous!) people.

kitchen wares for sale laid out on white table like shelves.  Large pillar in the middle of the store with a sign warning you that you are on camera.  Seven pictures of movie stars adorn the pillar.  Lots of merchandise for sale in the background.

Jeans for sale, on tables in Honest Eds store.  Large black and white posters on the wall along with a colour full length portrait of a woman in a long dress.

All of the signs in the store are hand painted.  In March 2014, Honest Ed’s had a sale of all their signs and the profits ($17,000) from this sale were donated to Victim Services Toronto.
Another sign sale is scheduled for 11 April 2015 starting at 8 a.m.  If you want to buy a sign, arrive early and expect to wait as it is a very popular event.

Sandals for sale at Honest Eds, on white shelves.  There is a mirror behind and in the reflection is most of the shoe department of the store.

bins of panties for sale, a wall display and long horizontal mirror in the background.  Beside the bin in the foreground is a white pillar on which there is a black and white picture of a man from the shoulders up.

Signs in a store window.  One says "Honet Ed can't cook but his customers never get a raw deal" and the other is a page showing all the special prices available at the store.  It is printed like a newspaper page and there is a lot of information on it.

A bin full of brightly coloured kids running shoes in greens, blues, reds, etc

In October 2013, the property was sold to a developer but as you can see from the sign in the photo below, the store is still open.  It will remain open until the end of 2016.  It’s been open for 67 years and will remain open for another 21 months.
The southeast corner of Markham and Bloor.  The corner of Honest Eds store with its red framed windows and loud garish signs.

Comments
  1. […] is the real Honest Ed’s store, a landmark for many years.  Eighteen months ago, I posted some pictures of the store and at the end of that post I mentioned that the store was scheduled to close at the […]

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