The Legacy Of Honest Ed’s on the TTC

Toronto’s most famous emporium, Honest Ed’s, closed its doors on December 31st, 2016. Merchants and restaurateurs in nearby Mirvish Village are decamping for new locations. It’s the end of an era.

To honour Mirvish Village merchants, three local residents’ associations planned a New Orleans-style “second line” parade with a brass band which would follow hot chocolate, hot cider and cornbread at Southern Accent restaurant on Markham Street. Unfortunately, the freak snow storm which blanketed the city beginning late afternoon, December 15th, meant that the brass band could not play, so the parade was cancelled. The party went ahead, nevertheless, with locals decked out in festive lights, great refreshments, and typical Southern Accent hospitality.

Losing Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village feels bittersweet. Although redevelopment is inevitable, the neighbourhood and the city can only hope that what rises in its place will generate the same enthusiasm and community spirit which prevailed before. At some point, I will write about the proposed new development.

The closing of Honest Ed’s prompted the TTC to plaster its western entry at the Bathurst Street subway station (on the Bloor line) with samples of Ed Mirvish’s famous advertising posters. (See above.) I thought that was it. A fitting memorial.

But I was wrong. I had occasion to use the station last week and discovered that the TTC has now commandeered someone with Honest Ed’s punster talents to advertise its own services. I love it. Someone at the TTC has a sense of humour. We desperately need more of that.

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2 comments

    • Anne-Marie

      Thanks Marion,
      Your photos of Mirvish Village (Markham Street) show the charm which we will soon be losing. Each home was architecturally unique and the stores and restaurants unique as well. We loved strolling down the street especially at night during Christmas or after a snowfall. I remember vendors selling popcorn and hot chestnuts. The scents were enticing!
      Like you, we hope the new development will recapture this very special atmosphere which I’ve seen nowhere else in my travels. Kudos to the Mirvish family for creating this. A tough act to follow.

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