Toronto's old Honest Ed's site will soon come alive with retail and food market
Venerable discount retailer Honest Ed's closed its doors for good at the end of 2016, and its glittering signage came down not long after, but it won't be too much longer until the site of the former iconic warehouse complex is once again buzzing with the flow of shoppers.
Developer Westbank Corp's enormous Mirvish Village complex at Bathurst and Bloor may not have the flashing incandescent bulb signage and suspiciously cheap household goods as its predecessor, but the new rental complex will be a vibrant community hub featuring plenty to serve its residents and draw in visitors from the surrounding city.
Residents and visitors of the Mirvish Village site will enjoy over 200,000 square feet of creative workspace and retail, as well as a public park plus multiple outdoor performance and gathering spaces.
And they won't have to wait too long, with the complex's towers now structurally complete and partially enclosed.
Perhaps the biggest reveal since the project began construction, a 25,000 square-foot public market — described by Westbank as the core of the project — is envisioned as a spiritual successor to the Honest Ed's legacy, offering a variety of food, music, and public art.
Known as The Kitchen, this market space will include six fresh food vendors, 16 prepared food vendors, six pop-up vendors, and over 30 seasonal outdoor market stalls.
But that's far from the only unique shopping experience in store for the Bathurst and Bloor area, as Markham Street is undergoing a generational glow-up.
A mix of restaurants, cafes, bookstores, record stores and other retailers will line a dozen and a half restored heritage homes, bringing Markham Street back to its mid-20th-century vibe.
Neon-style lighting and hyper-intimate micro retail evocative of a Tokyo alleyway will define a replacement for the old string-light-adorned Honest Ed's alley. Shoppers navigating this space will find more than 25 fully move-in-ready micro-retail units for entrepreneurs.
Though much of the retail experience is designed to draw pedestrians to the site's interior, the complex's north frontage along Bloor Street West and south frontage along Lennox Street will form what the developer calls the Main Street Retail component.
Mirvish Village will be home to over 900 purpose-built, pet-friendly rental units, including 100 designated as affordable rentals, when construction wraps in 2023.
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