Toronto landmark Honest Ed's up for sale: report

The parking lot behind Honest Ed's during a summer festival.

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.

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.