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Honest Ed's, Toronto

Categories: Gift & Specialty Shops, Shopping
Inspirock Rating:
2.7/5 based on 90+ reviews on the web
Honest Ed's is a landmark discount store located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is named for its proprietor, Ed Mirvish, who opened the store in 1948 and oversaw its operations for almost 60 years, until his death in 2007.LocationHonest Ed's is located on the corner of Bloor and Bathurst Streets, running the length of the block. The exterior is covered with huge red and yellow signs advertising the name of the store, lit up like a theatre marquee. The store sign uses 23,000 light bulbs. The outside facade is covered with puns and slogans such as "Come in and get lost!" and "Only the floors are crooked!"The store consists of two buildings connected by a walkway that links up the west building on Markham Street and the east building on Bathurst Street. The interior is modest, with simple displays of low-priced merchandise, ranging from vacuum cleaners and winter coats to kitchenware, toys and grocery items. Much of the store's decor consists of posters and photos from old films and stage productions from Mirvish's theatres in Toronto and London, England, and of actors and musicians who performed in them (many of these inscribed to Ed Mirvish himself). Every piece of store signage is hand-painted.HistoryEd Mirvish opened "Honest Ed's Bargain House" in 1948. The store proved popular and eventually expanded. The main building is at 581 Bloor Street West and the extension at 760 Bloor Street West is connected by a walkway crossing Honest Ed Alley. It gained fame for its marketing stunts, including loss leader specials and free turkey giveaways before Christmas and Thanksgiving Day holidays. Mirvish also gained fame in Toronto for the birthday parties he threw for himself from 1988 until his death, continued since then as anniversary parties for the store itself. At the street parties, there are free cakes, meals, hot dogs, candy, and giveaways. Crowds of Torontonians turn up with their children, and stand in long lines to receive these handouts. The happening is accompanied by live bands and balloons.
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  • It's one of the biggest stores I've seen. You can find anything you search, starting from shampoo until groceries. The prices are really affordable and buying luggage there really worths! Ican't say g...  read more »
  • I visited this store 40 yrs ago while visiting Toronto. I had to see it once more before it closes in December. Ed himself being the generous man he was made everyone feel welcome to his special store...  read more »
  • Honest Ed's is one of a kind. It is just plain fun for anyone who likes to hunt for a bargain. I don't usually spend a lot of money here but I thoroughly enjoy the old time shopping experience. There ...  read more »
  • The condos replacing this iconic mess must be taking inspiration from the interior. Cause the development looks like crap. It will definitely kill the Annex/koreatown vibe.
  • Heard awesome things about this place, but I was a bit underwhelmed. They have a wide variety of things from grocery items to miscellaneous trinkets. Prices are quite reasonable, given the location of the place. Staff was a bit difficult to locate in such a huge store, if you had a question. But, i'd go back, simply for the adventure and the range of things one can find.
  • It is a very interesting place to shop at. They sell almost everything. It is very easy to get lost between rows of wooden display shelf painted white and numerous hand written signs. Not a lot of shops now-a-days have the same appearance as Honest Ed's. Worth a visit.
  • ATTENTION: Honest Ed's will remain open until December 31, 2016 not 2015. Honest Ed's is a unique and historical sight for shopping. The prices are slightly higher than the department store but it is certainly fun to get lost in! It's a shame they are closing so soon
  • Historic. Iconic. Campy. Basically it's the best place to go to get lost and find weird stuff. Sad that it's closing December of 2016. I can only wonder what will become of this place?
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