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Oct 16, 2009
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A friend of mine started working in Mirvish Village recently and although I admit I don't go often, he was surprised to find so many people tell him they never heard of Mirvish Village. It seems everyone knows Honest Eds but just one block west no one sees the Village.
It is a shame that David Mirvish doesn't do anything to improve this famous block his father made famous. The houses are in disrepair, there are hardly any areas to sit outside (besides patios), the landscaping could use some major help. I understand his rents are less than other areas downtown and he rents studios to artist but this area could really be a thriving little enclave in the annex. Beside college students and neighbors, not many people venture there to see the unique little shops and art galleries, some that barely survive from the lack of pedestrian traffic. Only the restaurants seem to have consistent customers thanks to the patios.

Would it be great if David Mirvish held some sort of design competition to redesign this area and make it more of a destination to honor the legacy his father left. A car free zone with lots of benches and trees, more cafes and lots of people enjoying a summer afternoon in Toronto.
If only?
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Honouring his own legacy would be even more inspiring than honouring that of the vendor of Roach Motel ( "They check in but they don't check out" ). I miss Books on Art terribly - and the memory of his gallery, which predated it in the same space - designed by John Andrews, no less - remains, like a phantom limb.
I totally agree with you, Honest Ed's should be knocked down, it is an eyesore and the interior is even worse. I don't know who goes there.
He did do a lot for the city, though.

You are right David should do something to honour his own legacy. This could be it.
The book store if you go by looks like its getting ready for something. The front had new pavers installed and a sculpture of a horse was added in the front, if you look on the right, you can see through the side window the hugh Frank Stella painting. It is rumored he might be opening it as a gallery for public view. I didn't know the book store was a gallery previously.
He has an incredible collection of art he should display it instead of hiding it.
I was in this area Saturday night and was thinking the same thing--this strip, including Honest Ed's proper, has massive potential! Imagine building residential with quiet retail mews leading to the MV proper? I do like Honest Ed's on really cold or rainy days--it's nice to get lost staring at cheap housewares, strange off brand groceries etc. It reminds me of Army&Navy in the DES (Vancouver)--you sort of hate it but at the same time, it's a fun way to imagine what shopping was like fifty years ago!
yeah and for the asking price its got be condo developers they are marketing it too - i personally think it would be travesty to put in a massive condo tower at that site - no matter what star-architect they get - i guess we'll see what happens
Honest Ed's Redevelopment (Westbank, ?s, ?)

Iconic Honest Ed’s store — famous for its cheesy outdoor signage and low prices — has been quietly put up for sale

Garry Marr, National Post Staff | 13/07/16

Sources confirmed to the National Post that the famous Bloor Street store has been put on the block, along with some surrounding land also owned by the Mirvish family, and several real estate companies have been invited to make an offer in a transaction that could be worth about $100-million.

The Honest Ed’s store has 160,000 square feet, but the total development being sold is said to encompass about 350,000 square feet, according to sources. The area around the store is known as Mirvish Village and features more upscale boutiques, book stores, art galleries and restaurants that are more in tune with the surrounding upscale Annex neighbourhood.

“What will happen [in The Annex] is someone like RioCan [a retail landlord] will probably partner with an office developer or condo developer, and we’re talking about a 10- to-12-storey development.”
I wouldn't mind seeing an office / condo development here, given the great transit access and proximity to downtown, preferably nothing too tall. 10-12 stories, as mentioned in the article, wouldn't bother me. I would love the old signage creatively incorporated into the new podium, which would ideally create retail spaces on both main streets. I would hate to see a development which treats the Bathurst side as a service street, because this, along with the B-Streets condo, has the potential to begin transforming Bathurst into something resembling it's true potential.
I was told by a political staffer weeks ago that a site application was already started for the site, so this news never came as any big surprise to me. Some of the signage would be preserved. From what the Post says - 10-12 floors, retail at the base, is similar to what I was told.
Makes for a better spot of that awful Riocan proposal down the street.


Interestingly, the people who attended the recent Bathurst land-use study workshop would have preferred a low-rise condo with streetfront retail for the Kromer site.
There wasn't any hate-on for B.Streets either, which thankfully sets a good precedent for across the street.

As for Honest Ed's, something similar to the Queen Street Loblaws/Winners/condo could work, as long as there's plenty of deep storefronts that could host independent businesses. One of the few redeeming things about Honest Ed's in this era is its adaptablilty - the parking lot converted to the Fringe Festival nexus, the parcelling out the store for Sonic Boom, Suspect Video, even Hero Burger and Wine Rack, which animates the street more than if it remained an entirely insular box. In fact, that adaptability has kept Honest Ed's relevant. A new development really should take in a business like Sonic Boom.

And of course, Mirvish Village shall not be infringed upon. The Victory Cafe is my local, after all.
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Demolish the building, keep the signs. I was thinking they would put the Honest Ed's sign above (like a billboard) the newer building (if they decide to build a new building) to mark where Honest Ed's once stood. And, I hope that if they decide to build a new building, that it's not condos. Just one or two storey retail space.
Which signs, though? The huge flashing Honest Ed's signs? Probably only one of those needs to be kept. The hand-painted puns and self-deprecating jokes, too? I'd actually hire the guy who still paints the Honest Ed's signs to reproduce the best of those and put them into a permanent window display containing a few pieces of Ed's memorabilia below the one kept flashing sign. Perhaps all that should be on the Markham Street side of the building, rather than the corner of Bloor and Bathurst, a trade-off of main corner visibility vs. a Mirvish Village tribute.

I don't even think we should keep the signs in their current location - it will probably unnecessarily compromise any new building on the site. We should collect all these signs from the bygone era and use them to set up some sort of display at a future TO museum.


Mirvish Village shall not be infringed upon.