Honest Ed’s, the Toronto retail landmark known for its dazzling outdoor signage and annual turkey giveaways, is up for sale.
Longtime general manager Russell Lazar said he’s known the discount store was being quietly shopped around for a few weeks now.
“I have no doubt we’re going to see Honest Ed’s operating for years to come, but for how many years I don’t know,” said Lazar, who’s been working at the store for 55 years.
Honest Ed’s throughout the years
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“It’s not something that’s going to happen right away.”
Ed Mirvish, who died in 2007, first opened the store in 1948 and his son David Mirvish is now at the helm of the family empire, which expanded to include Mirvish Productions, a major live-theatre company.
David Mirvish has also expanded his portfolio into condo development, teaming up with Toronto architect Frank Gehry to propose three 80-storey towers on King Street West.
Many fans of Honest Ed’s are expressing their shock of the store’s possible sale on Twitter, saying they hope it doesn’t disappear, especially not to be replaced by looming condo buildings.
Online reaction to news
Jess Collins, who lived nearby the store as a grad student in 2007, told the Star in a telephone interview that she’ll miss the landmark.
“It's always been more than just a store to me,” said Collins. “I love that such a quirky place has continued to exist while the neighbourhood has grown up around it”
Collins, who will miss walking under the store’s massive sign if it shuts down, said she has even been on dates to the store, where fun could always be found searching out random, unexpected finds.
“I think losing Honest Ed's is a big loss to the community, both as a bizarre, affordable gem of a store, and as a cultural landmark that differentiates the neighbourhood from everywhere else,” said Collins.
Lazar, who never gets tired of the excitement on customer’s faces, said he’s currently planning the store’s 65th anniversary.
“Not a year has gone by in 55 that it hasn’t been exciting to work here,” he said. “Just being with Ed was great. I miss him.”
Since he’s known about it being for sale for a few weeks now, Lazar, who calls the store “part of Toronto,” said he’s slowly come to terms with its inevitable sale.
“Everything has a beginning, and everything has an end,” he said. “I am satisfied that it’s not immediate.”