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so long, Honest Ed

Electric Tomato Machine‘Honest’ Ed Mirvish passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 92.

I’d never heard of Ed Mirvish before I moved to Toronto, but once there, stories of Honest Ed’s department store drew me like a magnet. A gigantic kitch bargain emporium of a decidedly old-school bent, I found it a welcome, tacky respite from a city that prides itself on professionalism and good taste. And that was just one part of the Mirvish discount-store/restaurant/theatre empire.

The guy lived a colourful life, made lots of money, gave generously and made Toronto a slightly weirder place in the process. What’s not to like about a guy who is made Commander of the British Empire and interprets it as “Creates Bargains Everywhere”?