Honest Ed's, Toronto
"Honest Ed" Mirvish has had his bargain centre at Bloor & Bathurst pass on the rock bottom prices of anything and everything to Torontonians for 55 years now. Sure it's a little tacky, being jam-packed from floor to ceiling with tons of inexpensive "stuff", but where else in this city is it possible to buy Jesus candles by the case, or ceramic Elvis busts by the truckload? Is there a better place to purchase 50 forks for $5.00 or 100 tins of Cinnamon for $20.00? I say nay!
There's also a Pharmacy with cut rate prices on brand name goods, as well as an Optician who'll not only sell you a fine pair of prescription glasses at a more than fair price, but will also throw in a free lens cloth or beach ball just for smiling.
Ed Mirvish is one of Toronto's most respected and successful retailors who in mid-July, as a "thank you" to his loyal customers, also throws a free street party for the entire city by publicly celebrating his birthday (90 in '04) with free entertainment, cake, pizza slices, pop and ice-cream; it's a full day of entertainment.
What to pay: As the sign says: "How cheap can a guy get? Come in and find out!"
For bargain hunters, Honest Ed's is the answer to your craving. The 'one location only' shopping centre is located in midtown Toronto in the culturally diverse, safe and vibrant neighbourhood.
Honest Ed's store is called as the Mirvish Village, a unique shopping area featuring boutiques, book stores, artists studios, antique shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
* Shopping is a unique and fun experience.
* 160,000 square feet of bargains throughout the store.
* Jam-packed with gift ideas for everyone.
* Thousands of items to choose from, all at bargain prices.
For more detailed information, please check the website provided.
What to buy: Souvenir items from Canada
This is a masterpiece of marketing. The signs outside are just so OTT that I had to go in to find out what it was all about and an experience it was too. I have never seen so much junk, so poorly arranged, such listless unmotivated staff in any shop ever.
Once you are inside the place you then find that every exit is an alarmed fire exit and it takes ages to find your way out.
That said, you really do have to give it a try, purely for the experience, but I doubt very much if you will actually want to buy anything.
Check out (sorry! ) the other photos to see the hyperbole, they ARE entertaining.
What to buy: NOTHING!
What to pay: NOTHING!
A veritable histrionics of Toronto theatre history. The stairwells are lines with old theatre posters, actor’s headshots and archive newspaper reviews.
Make sure to seek out the makeshift props storage, Basement level, take the stairway by the Brita Water filters and look left!
What to buy: The worst possible souvenirs EVER!
TACKY. And very funny.
If you are looking for "camp value" gifts..... Like a cheezy wood Toronto clock this is your place.
Need salt and pepper shakers shaped like Moose? This is your place.
Looking for an Elvis bust? THIS is your place!
What to pay: Depends..... Some of the prices are great, be wary of the cooking section. There are way better places to buy pots, pans and utensils.
On our return from Casa Loma, we had a dinner at Pizza Pizza. We saw Honest Ed's outlet on the other side of the road.
Honest Ed is a Bargain Wonderland.
Wikipedia says the following about store Owner Edwin Mirvish:
Edwin "Honest Ed" Mirvish, OC, CBE (July 24, 1914 — July 11, 2007) was a Canadian businessman, philanthropist and theatrical impresario who lived in Toronto, Ontario. He is known not only for his flagship business, Honest Ed's, a landmark discount store in downtown Toronto, but also as a patron of the arts, instrumental in revitalizing the theatre scene in Toronto.
What to buy: It is very big and you can find anything here from grocery items, house & home, appliances, electric gadgets, ladies clothing, shoes, kids, etc.
Honest Ed's is a sort of Toronto legend, partly because its late founder, Ed Mirvish, did so much for the city of Toronto. He built an artistic shopping arcade (see Mirvish Village) and invested heavily in theatres and the arts. He also gave out turkeys to the poor for Christmas. Last month (July 2007) Ed Mirvish died, but his famous store lives on. The store, however, isn't quite as glamorous as Mirvish's life. It's a discount megastore that services an area that, although gentrified, has plenty of immigrant pockets. There is no natural light and you are certain to buy some form of chocolate or candy in here because the decor is so depressing you need something to lift up your spirits.
What to buy: Everything. No, really, everything. Clothes, cutlery, exercise equipment, groceries, legal services, dentistry, wine, furniture, cleaning supplies, souvenirs, they're all found at Honest Ed's. If Ed Mirvish could have opened a bank inside he would have.
What to pay: This is the cheapest place to buy anything in the city of Toronto. Don't expect quality to be of the highest calibre, however...