If anybody asked where I grew up I would simply say Honest Ed’s. everybody knew about Ed’s outrageous bargain store at Bathurst and Bloor. The legendary store closes today after 68 years, a veritable Toronto ikon.
Mirvish was a great character, a down to earth business guy, very loyal to the immigrant population who were looking for bargains—first the Italians and Jews and then the Portuguese and Jamaicans They all loved Ed.he remembered what it was like to be an immigrant. His dad had come to the USA first from Kiev and when Ed was nine moved to Toronto and located in the largely Jewish area of Dundas and Bathurst.
I often ran into Ed on his birthday—which was the same day as mine.He would throw a party outside the store and treat the folks to free hot dogs.
When my first book Shabbes Goy: A Catholic Boyhood was launched in 2001 the Mirvishes, Ed and son David insisted I launch it at David’s great bookstore across the road. Who was I to say no.? They loved it because it was a local story. Not only did the Mirvishes buy the first two copies but they took out ads in the Globe and Mail! I never spent a dime promoting it.
Bathurst and Bloor will never be the same. Mirvish had a great run there and parlayed it into refurbishing the beautiful Royal Alex theatre. Both Toronto originals.