SAY GOODBYE TO HONEST ED’S – ITS DOORS WILL CLOSE FOREVER ON NEW YEAR’S EVE

HONESTEDS9The corner of Bathurst and Bloor Streets will never be the same. HONEST ED’s Department Store is shutting down.  The store and nearby MIRVISH VILLAGE sit on a piece of land now owned by Vancouver developer Westbank Properties.  They’re across the street from a subway station, in a condo-hungry neighbourhood, near the University of Toronto.

mirvishvillage1<The proposed project replacing Honest Ed’s may look something like this. Rendering via Westbank Corp.>

HONESTEDS2HONESTEDS3ED MIRVISH, who died in 2007, opened his first store at the corner of Bloor and Markham Streets, in 1948.  He and his son, David, went on to build a family empire.  The two of them ran an art bookshop on Markham Street; purchased the Royal Alexandra Theatre when it was destined to become a parking lot; built the Princess of Wales Theatre; rescued and renovated London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre; purchased the Pantages (now the Ed Mirvish) theatre on Yonge Street; founded Mirvish Productions, a major live-theatre company; and continued operating Honest Ed’s.

HONESTEDS5HONESTEDS7HONESTEDS4<PHOTOS ABOVE – 1) Panorama – Stewart Russell; 2) Bike in front of Honest Ed’s – gbalogh/flickr; 3) Black and white exterior, 1957 – Allan Moffatt; 4) Black and white exterior – Fritz Spiess estate, Stephen Bulger Gallery.>

MIRVISH4MIRVISH VILLAGE is made up of Victorian-era houses, rescued when the city had plans to tear them all down. The Village, converted into one-of-a-kind shops, art studios, galleries, boutiques and cafes will soon be no more.  It will become part of the massive Bathurst/Bloor redevelopment.

GEHRY2The latest David Mirvish project: architect Frank Gehry is working on two towers and a contemporary art gallery destined for King Street West.

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