vintage ads honest Eds toronto

Vintage ads come back to life after demolition of Honest Ed's

Last week saw the last vestiges of Honest Ed's torn down as part of a drawn out demolition effort that slowly but steadily dismantled the former discount retailer.

The teardown has left a gaping hole at Bloor and Bathurst streets, but out of this void has come an intriguing historical gem in the form of well preserved vintage signs previously hidden away by the hulking store.

An advertisement for a now extinct merchant tailor and Quaker Oats saw the light of day for the first time in decades as the southern portion of the building was stripped away in recent weeks. 

There are ghost signs scattered throughout the city, relics of a time when advertisements were painted on the side of buildings in huge fonts and then logos that turned structures into billboards. Occasionally a demolition like this one will open a window into the past. 

A post shared by Sean Galbraith (@seangalbraith) on

The buildings on which the ads are found date back to at least 1891, and have been home to a number of commercial establishments over the years. They were once at least partially separated from Honest Ed's before it swelled and covered them up. 

You might not be able to see them for very long. With plans for a massive new development on the Honest Ed's site, the building at 760 Bathurst St. could be lost to demolition or, on the chance that it survives, once again covered by a neighbouring structure.

Get a look while you can!

Lead photo by

@seemicpix


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