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Honest Ed's, Toronto

(2.8/5 based on 95+ 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Great tradition to go shop at Honest Ed's for amazing bargains and the whole carnival flea market atmosphere of the place. 
  • I Am so fortunate to have seen this gem ounce and by complete coinsidence. I was visiting toronto for 3 days only and I was bored one day and just decided to see what bloor street had to offer and i t...  more »
  • This place reminded me of a dollar store department store with all sorts of gadgets and doo-dads, what nots and clothing. It's not well organized, but that adds to the eclectic charm. Perhaps an OCD p...  more »
Google
  • Honest Ed's has a lot of products and random items for sale. Their prices are reasonable and some of their products are legitimately amazing. I bought a pair of rain boots (made in Canada) at a very affordable price and high quality. The staff are friendly, and are willing to help out. The store is outdated and can be hard to navigate. It's also dizzying when you get lost lol. The building itself is old and outdated and the store can be messy at times.
  • Came here to buy some cheap hats. Price was cheap, service was good and had no problems. Will be sad to see this place close.
  • What do you do when you're not sure where you can find the obscure kitchen appliance you've been wanting for months? When you only have $50 in the bank but need curtains and bedsheets and cutlery and batteries ad plates? When you're deciding between making rent and a full stomach? You go to Honest Ed's and watch your worries melt away. The prices are so low that you find yourself worrying about the quality, but alas, worry no more friend. This iconic gem will have your back (at least for the next 3 months)!
  • Nostalgiac, kitschy, useful items. Don't forget they have a hardware and fabric section downstairs. Not everything is super cheap, so know your prices. Non-perishable foods are plentiful and cheap for the area. For a limited time, they're selling off their musical posters from Mirvish theatres for 10-40$. Great way to grab a piece of Toronto history before they close in December.
  • Lots of cheap stuff. Pity it's closing shortly. Great "go to" shop for stuff you need but can't find elsewhere.