This isn’t really a difference between So Cal and Toronto, per se. It’s more like a strange thing I found in Toronto that is a wonder all to itself. On the corner of Bloor and Bathhurst, is the famous Honest Ed’s.
It’s a huge building that is lit up like Vegas, with kitchy puns all over the outside, like “Honest Ed’s a nut! But look at the cashew save!” (Yeah, a real groaner.) Their motto is, “There’s no place like this place, anyplace!” That is a completely true statement. Honest Ed’s is truly one-of-a-kind.
The playful signs and atmosphere continue on the inside, like this photo we snapped in an area filled with plastic containers.
(That small sign says, “Honest Ed’s childish… his prices never grow up.”)
Turns out that Honest Ed’s is the first downscale discount store of its kind. Started in 1948, by Ed Mirvish, they have been selling inexpensive items of all kinds to customers who don’t mind wandering through their gigantic, labyrinthine building to find bargains. It’s got different staircases leading here and there. We almost got lost as we surveyed the place.
That’s right. Poorly painted Elvis heads. A complete wall of them.
We have no idea.
It really was an amazing experience to walk through. But I enjoyed it for another reason as well.
Turns out that the Ed Mirvish who founded and ran Honest Ed’s until his death 3 years ago, is the same Ed Mirvish who is responsible for the revitalization of live theatre in Toronto! He purchased and built many theatres and produced many, many shows. Besides being Honest Ed, Mr. Mirvish is a world-renown theatre impresario almost solely responsible for Toronto’s reputation as a fantastic theatre town.
It reminds me of all the theatres I’ve worked in. In fact, I had fun seeing posters of shows that I’d seen!
So, I am personally thankful for this kitchy store, not just for the drain plug and the salad spinner we picked up for under $12.00, but for the wonderful theatre experiences that this crazy store has provided for me and for the world!