Honest Ed’s

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A reference point in Toronto.

By Tamires Criscio

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/scruss

One of my favourite neighbourhoods in Toronto is the Bathurst Street area. For me the Bathurst subway station signals a charm that makes the neighbourhood unique. The neighbourhood is called the Annex. It’s different, safe and vibrant and on a Saturday afternoon you can stroll by the many small shops and cafés,that are always busy. But what gets your attention in that neighbourhood is the huge illuminated sign, impossible to ignore, that says, Honest Ed’s.

My first impression of this sign was to think that it was a grand theatre or cinema, which is not entirely false. More than a discount store, it is a cultural icon in Toronto. This huge store with reasonable prices and a wide variety of products tells a historical tale not only of commerce, but also of entertainment.

One of the first large discount stores, Honest Ed’s has been around for almost 64 years, and the founder Ed Mirvish, built an empire with it that is part of Toronto’s history.  This store has a large influence on the city’s cultural production, even serving as a set for films and video clips, such as the recent clip for the song “Wide Open” by a singer from Toronto, Jenny Mayhem. The clip is worth seeing because it shows the inside of the store and part of what it represents for Torontonians

The store is definitely a tourist spot, and is worth visiting. The variety of products is immense, from coats, to food and appliances, and all at a price that will make you buy more. For me it is a guaranteed spot that I visit in the city at least once a week because there is always something new at an interesting price.

Honest Ed’s is certainly an inspirational space. It is located at 581 Bloor Street West, across from the Bathurst station on the green subway line.