toronto honest ed's

Honest Ed's on the market for $100 million

Honest Ed's, the luminous Toronto discount store famous for its wheeler dealer attitude and bargain basement prices, is being quietly shopped to property buyers with some of its surrounding land for a cool $100 million, reports the National Post.

If sold, and this is looking some way down the road, the prime location on a thriving commercial street in the Annex will likely attract plenty of attention from developers interested in building a mix of retail, residential, and office space on the site.

The three-storey building is not listed on the city's inventory of heritage properties.

honest ed's archive

Honest Ed's opened in 1948 and made a local hero of Ed Mirvish, its founder. The store's eclectic interior, goofy sense of humour, and hand-painted signs have defined its image for almost 65 years.

The wildly successful business allowed Mirvish to establish a significant theatre empire, Mirvish Productions.

Today, the sprawling site that encompasses several labyrinthine buildings sells everything from discount winter coats to cheap ceramic mugs.

According to the Post, the 160,000 square foot store and an additional 190,000 sq. ft. of surrounding property is up for grabs. David Mirvish, Ed Mirvish's son, says nothing has been sold yet but the prime location, close to the subway, is likely to attract plenty of attention.

Property guru Brad Lamb says, if sold, the site will likely be zoned for a building of around 10 and 12 storeys.

Does the sale mean the end for Honest Ed's? Could we really expect anyone but condo developers to bid on the prime location? Is it time the neighbourhood moved on from the days of Honest Ed's?

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Derek Flack/blogTO Flickr pool, City of Toronto Archives.


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