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.>

HONESTEDS2ED 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.

HONESTEDS7HONESTEDS4<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.

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