(By: Hilary Punchard)
If you’ve lived in Toronto then there are a few iconic stores that always come to mind – Sam the Record Man, Fran’s Restaurant and, of course, Honest Ed’s.
This historic store has been a part of Toronto’s history since 1948. It was opened by Ed and Anne Mirvish, first as a women’s clothing store in 1943, only to become Honest Ed’s Bargain House in 1948.
The store closed up shop in December 2016, however the Centre for Social Innovation organized one final farewell to honour the 68 years that Ed’s has been in business.
When you think about Honest Ed’s, you think about the low prices, its flashy sign and the fact that no matter how many times you’ve been in, you’ll always get lost.
The Centre for Social Innovation organized artists and volunteers to help turn the space into a gigantic art space, its walls far from being bare. It was a four-day long celebration, from an art maze, to a town hall, a market and finally a party.
Saturday night was the centre point in the celebration, the Bargain Bash! Party, giving Ed’s an official farewell from Torontonians.
The building was split into three main areas for different dance floors. The Lastman’s Bad Boy area was converted into a stage with Footprints DJs Jason Palma and General Eclectic. They completed the theatrics with a live Afro-Brazillian drumming performance by Maracatu Mar Aberto.
The top floor held an electronic swing band called Electro Swing TO, whose instruments brought speakeasy dance to Ed’s halls.
Finally, the basement was filled with strobe lights and lasers, the mirrors and art installations glowing on the walls. Dre Ngozi, Nino Brown and DJ Bambii ran the show, people dancing long into the night.
It was a farewell that Ed Mirvish himself would have been proud of; a part of history that Torontonians will talk about being at for year and a perfect send off for this truly spectacular landmark.
All photos by author.