Honest Ed’s is up for sale.
For anyone outside of Toronto, that probably doesn’t mean much. For anyone who has lived in Toronto, or spent any time in the city, it’s a historic event.
For the uninitiated, Honest Ed’s is a sprawling discount store located on Bloor and Bathurst Streets, just west of the University of Toronto campus. The 160,000-square-foot building opened in 1948. It’s comparable to a Bargain Store or a Dollar Store, but much, much bigger, with plenty of unexpected finds inside.
Plastic Elvis busts, tinned food, bins of housewares, Velcro running shoes — it’s all inside. And the outside, well, it’s all orange and red and flashing lights, you really can’t miss it. The store’s facade presents a photo-op for anyone visiting the city, or even for anyone walking by.
The news was first reported by the National Post Tuesday, which says that the Mirvish family has quietly listed the building, and the land surrounding it. The Post estimates the transaction could be worth as much as $100 million. Considering the store’s massive size and location — along a subway line and in the hip and upscale Annex neighbourhood — this isn’t out of line.
Honest Ed's is for sale. It's the first business to be offered at $1,000,000,000.99 #Toronto
— Mark Critch (@markcritch) July 16, 2013
While the store itself is up for sale, the Post reports that the land next to the store, Mirvish Village — home to popular bars and vintage shops — could also be part of the deal.
The surprise news had many Torontonians prematurely mourning the loss of the historic store. And it also brought plenty of speculation as to what might go into the space. Condos and/or a Wal-Mart are popular guesses, but there were some more creative suggestions, too.
Put the Honest Ed's sign on top of Captain John's and turn the whole thing into a floating hipster resto-bar of kitsch.
— Karon Liu (@karonliu) July 16, 2013
So I have the name ready to go if anyone wants to invest $100 million into running a big garish bargain shop in the Annex with me.
— Edward Keenan (@thekeenanwire) July 16, 2013
But yes, the signs are good. Keep em, slap em on a new infill building and bingo bango. Honest Ed's kitsch + better use of the block.
— Mackenzie Keast (@mackenziekeast) July 16, 2013