Ed Mirvish, 2006
Yehuda Edwin Mirvish
July 24, 1914
|Died||July 11, 2007 92) (aged|
|Occupation||Founder, Chairman and CEO of Honest Ed's|
(m. 1941;his death 2007)
|Children||David Mirvish, two others|
Edwin "Honest Ed" Mirvish, OC CBE OOnt (July 24, 1914 – July 11, 2007) was an American-Canadian businessman, philanthropist and theatrical impresario who lived in Toronto, Ontario. He is known for his flagship business, Honest Ed's, a landmark discount store in downtown Toronto, and as a patron of the arts, instrumental in revitalizing the theatre scene in Toronto.
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order and the second highest honour for merit in the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada. It comes second only to membership in the Order of Merit, which is the personal gift of Canada's monarch.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.
The Order of Ontario is the most prestigious official honour in the Canadian province of Ontario. Instituted in 1986 by Lieutenant Governor Lincoln Alexander, on the advice of the Cabinet under Premier David Peterson, the civilian order is administered by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council and is intended to honour current or former Ontario residents for conspicuous achievements in any field.
Born in Colonial Beach, Virginia, the son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania (his father, David) and Austria (his mother, Anna). His parents gave him the Hebrew name, Yehuda, but at the urging of a cousin, they added a more American name, Edwin.Mirvish often told the tale of his bris; there was no mohel in Colonial Beach, so the family hired one in nearby Washington, D.C., to come down to perform the ceremony. The mohel chosen was Rabbi Moshe Reuben Yoelson, the father of Al Jolson. Mirvish credited this as his introduction to show business.
Colonial Beach, Virginia (CBVA) is a river and beach town located in the northwestern part of Westmoreland County on Virginia's Northern Neck peninsula. It is bounded by the Potomac River, Monroe Bay and Monroe Creek and home to the second-largest beachfront in the state. It is located 65 mi (105 km) from Washington, D.C.; 70 mi (110 km) from the state capital of Richmond; and 35 nautical miles from the Chesapeake Bay.
Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.
Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Lithuania is considered to be one of the Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people as of 2019, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. Lithuanians are Baltic people. The official language, Lithuanian, along with Latvian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.
The family later moved to Washington, D.C., where Mirvish's father opened a grocery store. The grocery store went bankrupt in 1923, and David Mirvish moved his family to Toronto where he worked as a door-to-door salesman – peddling, among other things, Fuller Brushes and the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry – until he opened a grocery in the Toronto Jewish community, on Dundas Street. The family lived above the store, sharing their tiny apartment with a Hebrew school. Mirvish would often joke that it was his dream in those days to someday have a bathroom he did not have to share with 50 others.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.
Mirvish lost his father at the age of 15. He dropped out of school to manage the store, becoming the sole support of his mother, his younger brother, Robert (who became a successful novelist and short-story writer) and sister, Lorraine. The grocery business did not do well, and Mirvish closed shop to reopen as a dry-cleaner, in partnership with his childhood friend, Yale Simpson. The shop was known as Simpson's. When the well-known downtown Toronto department store Simpson's attempted to force him to change the name of his business, Mirvish pointed to Simpson and said, "Here's my Mr. Simpson. Where's yours?" The dry-cleaning business did no better than the grocery, however, and Mirvish soon abandoned it to take a regular job working as a produce manager and buyer for Toronto grocery store entrepreneur Leon Weinstein. Now financially stable, Mirvish bought a Ford Model T and began to court a radio singer from Hamilton, Ontario, Anne Macklin, whom he married in 1941. In 1945, their son, David, was born.
The Ford Model T is an automobile produced by Ford Motor Company from October 1, 1908, to May 26, 1927. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, the car that opened travel to the common middle-class American; some of this was because of Ford's efficient fabrication, including assembly line production instead of individual hand crafting.
David Mirvish, is a Canadian art collector, art dealer, theatre producer, real estate developer and son of the late Toronto discount department store owner "Honest" Ed Mirvish and artist Anne Lazar Macklin.
In 1943, during World War II, Ed and Anne Mirvish opened a dress shop known as The Sport Bar on Bloor Street near Bathurst.In 1946, the business expanded and was renamed Anne & Eddie's. In 1948, Mirvish cashed in his wife's insurance policy to open a new business, a bargain basement known as "Honest Ed's", stocked with all kinds of odd merchandise purchased at bankruptcy and fire sales, and displayed on orange crates. This unique no-credit, no-service, no-frills business model was an immediate success. Mirvish claimed to have invented the "loss-leader", below-cost discounts on selected items designed to lure buyers into the store. "Honest Ed's" gradually expanded to fill an entire city block. Billing itself as "the world's biggest discount department store", it was soon bringing in millions of dollars a year. The store expanded and, in the late 1950s, Mirvish started buying up houses on Markham Street running south from Bloor. When his application to tear down the Victorian structures in order to build a parking lot was rejected by the city Mirvish, at the urging of his wife, rented them out at low rates to local artists and the street soon became a community of artists studios, galleries, boutiques and niche shops known today as Mirvish Village.
Honest Ed's was a landmark discount store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was named for its proprietor, Ed Mirvish, who opened the store in 1948 and oversaw its operations for almost 60 years until his death in 2007. The store continued to operate until it permanently closed on December 31, 2016.
In June 2006, Ed and Anne Mirvishmarked their 65th wedding anniversary with a party at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The mayor of Toronto, the chief of police and other public figures delivered congratulatory speeches, followed by a program of vocal music by some of Toronto's opera and theater stars. In July 2006, Mirvish celebrated his 92nd birthday with a lavish party at Honest Ed's. In honor of this occasion, many items in the store were on sale for 92 cents.
On July 11, 2007, the Mirvish family released a statement to announce the death of Ed Mirvish after midnight at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto. The funeral service was held at the Beth Tzedek Synagogue in Toronto. pm on July 13. Toronto Police provided ceremonial and mounted units (including the horse Honest Ed) for his funeral. Flags at Toronto's civic centres were lowered to half mast.Mirvish was buried at Pardes Shalom Cemetery in Maple, Ontario. His store was closed and its lights were dimmed, as staff bid farewell to the former owner. A similar gesture was made by theatres on Broadway, which dimmed their lights for one minute at 8
On August 12, 2007, the City of Toronto had granted a closure of Bloor Street between Bathurst and Markham Streets to accommodate a celebration in honour of Ed Mirvish. Ceremonies began with Mayor David Miller, who proclaimed August 12 "Ed Mirvish Day" in the City of Toronto.
In response to his death, Jones Cane Sugar Soda issued bottles of their soda with a picture of Honest Ed on them, with "Honest Ed Mirvish 1914–2007" placed where normally a photo credit lies.
Mirvish was renowned for his publicity stunts, doing everything from riding elephants, to hiring protesters to picketing his own restaurant over its dress code. Every Christmas, Mirvish gave away ten thousand pounds of free turkeys in his store to shoppers who stood in line for hours. The giveaway continued each Christmas until 2015.A tradition since his 75th birthday has been the annual birthday bash outside the store, with free food, entertainment and children's rides. In 2003, Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman proclaimed Mirvish's birthday "Ed Mirvish Day".
At one time, a sign in the store read: "When Ed dies, he would like a catered funeral with accordion players and a buffet table, with a replica of Honest Ed on it made of potato salad."
In addition to Honest Ed's, Mirvish was known in Toronto for his theatres and restaurants.His first purchase was the Royal Alexandra Theatre, an Edwardian landmark building potentially slated for demolition. Mirvish purchased the building in 1963 and refurbished it, revitalizing the Toronto theatre scene.
To liven up the neighborhood and provide patrons with a place to go before and after performances, Mirvish bought and renovated a nearby warehouse building, which he turned into a restaurant. To cut costs, "Ed's Warehouse" at King Street West and Duncan Street served a set meal: prime rib, mashed potatoes and peas.Along the same street, Mirvish later opened Ed's Seafood, Ed's Folly, Ed's Chinese, Ed's Italian Restaurant and Old Ed's, which attracted local residents to the previously neglected King Street area and served 6,000 meals a night. As the neighbourhood became revitalized, many other restaurants opened nearby, often serving a wider range of foods than Ed's restaurants and achieving greater popularity; consequently, one by one, Ed's restaurants closed down. The last was Ed's Warehouse, which shut its doors in 2000.
In 1993 the Mirvishes built the Princess of Wales Theatre, the largest new theatre – and first privately financed theatre – in North America in the span of thirty years. In 2001, Mirvish Enterprises signed a management contract to run the Pantages Theatre, renamed the Canon Theatre, for Clear Channel Entertainment (now Live Nation), which had bought up the assets of the bankrupt theatre company, Livent. The first show under the Mirvish banner was a touring production of Saturday Night Fever .
He and his son David operated Mirvish Productions, which staged major touring theatre productions from Broadway and London and which produced and/or co-produced the Canadian stagings of such recent hits as The Lion King , Mamma Mia! , The Producers and Hairspray . In 1982 Ed and David Mirvish bought London's Old Vic for GB£550,000 (C$1.23 million) and spent four million dollars renovating it. Under their management, The Old Vic was celebrated for winning more awards for its productions than any other single theatre in Britain; It never made money, however, and they sold it to its present owners, a theatre trust, in 1998. Ed Mirvish was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for saving the Old Vic.
On December 6, 2011 the Canon Theatre was renamed Ed Mirvish Theatre in his honour.
The Annex is a neighbourhood in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The traditional boundaries of the neighbourhood are north to Dupont Street, south to Bloor Street, west to Bathurst Street and east to Avenue Road. The City of Toronto recognizes a broader neighbourhood definition that includes the adjacent Seaton Village and Yorkville areas.
Koreatown is an ethnic enclave in Toronto, Canada known for its Korean businesses. It is located along Bloor Street between Christie and Bathurst Streets in Seaton Village. The adoption of a more liberal immigration policy by the Canadian government in 1967 led to an influx of Korean immigrants, many of whom settled in the Toronto area. Indeed, Toronto has the largest single concentration of Koreans in Canada with almost 50,000 living in the city, according to the 2001 Census. Many of them settled in the Bloor and Bathurst area, and before long, a small Korean business neighbourhood emerged along Bloor Street, centred on the intersection of Bloor and Manning Avenue. Restaurants, bakeries, gift shops, grocery stores, and travel agencies began to open up, most of which catered to the Korean-Canadian community. Today, although many Koreans work in the region, very few Koreans in fact live in Koreatown.
King Street is a major east–west commercial thoroughfare in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was one of the first streets laid out in the 1793 plan of the town of York, which became Toronto in 1834. After the construction of the Market Square in 1803 at King and Jarvis streets, to house the first St. Lawrence Market farmer's market, the street became the primary commercial street of York and early Toronto. This original core was destroyed in the 1849 Great Fire of Toronto, but subsequently rebuilt. The original street extended from George to Berkeley Street and was extended by 1901 to its present terminuses at Roncesvalles Avenue in the west and the Don River in the east.
The Royal Alexandra Theatre, commonly known as the Royal Alex, is a theatre in Toronto, Ontario, located near King and Simcoe Streets. Built in 1907, the 1,497-seat Royal Alex is the oldest continuously operating legitimate theatre in North America.
Bathurst is a subway station on Line 2 Bloor–Danforth in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The station, which opened in 1966, is located on Bathurst Street just north of Bloor Street West. It is a major transfer point for both bus and streetcar routes, including the 511 Bathurst route, which provides services to Exhibition Place.
Bathurst Street is a main north-south thoroughfare in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It begins at an intersection of the Queens Quay roadway, just north of the Lake Ontario shoreline. It continues north through Toronto to the Toronto boundary at Steeles Avenue. It is a four-lane thoroughfare throughout Toronto. The roadway continues north into York Region where it is known as York Regional Road 38.
The Ed Mirvish Theatre is a historic film and play theatre in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was initially known as the Pantages Theatre, then became the Imperial Theatre and later the Canon Theatre, before it was renamed in honour of Ed Mirvish, a well-known businessman and theatre impresario. The theatre was first opened in 1920 and is located near Yonge-Dundas Square.
Poor Alex Theatre was a theatre company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Uptown Theatre was a historic movie theatre in Toronto, Ontario which was demolished in 2003. The entrance to the theatre was located on Yonge Street just south of Bloor. Like many theatres of the time it was constructed so that only the entrance was on a major thoroughfare while the main building fronted on a side street. A bridge connected the two buildings.
Downtown Toronto is the city centre and main central business district of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located entirely within the district of Old Toronto, it is approximately 14 square kilometers in area, bounded by Bloor Street to the north, Lake Ontario to the south, the Don Valley to the east, and Bathurst Street to the west. It is also the location of the City of Toronto government and the Government of Ontario.
Palmerston–Little Italy is a neighbourhood in central Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its boundaries, according to the City of Toronto, are by Bathurst Street to the east, Bloor Street to the north, Dovercourt Road to the west and College Street to the south. It is a mature downtown neighbourhood. Within this official neighbourhood of the City of Toronto are two neighbourhoods, Palmerston and Little Italy and the commercial enclave of Mirvish Village.
The CAA Theatre, formerly the Panasonic Theatre, is a live theatre owned and operated by Mirvish Productions in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. On December 1, 2017, Mirvish Productions announced a marketing partnership with CAA South Central Ontario, which included renaming the venue that was known as the Panasonic Theatre.
The Toronto Theatre District is a part of the Toronto Entertainment District in Downtown Toronto that contains the largest concentration of stage theatres in Canada. It is the third largest English-speaking theatre district in the world, after West End in London and Broadway in New York City.
David Mirvish Gallery was a contemporary, commercial art gallery run by David Mirvish from 1963 to 1978, within the Markham Street art community on Mirvish Village in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Artists at the gallery are best known for Color Field and Post-painterly Abstraction works. Mirvish assembled the Mirvish Collection, consisting of mostly contemporary artwork including artists he represented, lending it out to museums around the United States and Europe after the gallery's closure. In 2012, Mirvish announced plans to open a gallery to display these works, at planned condominium project Mirvish+Gehry Toronto.
Mirvis is a surname of Lithuanian Jewish origin. The name may refer to:
Markham Street is a north-south residential street located in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, one block west of Bathurst Street. Its northern end starts in the Seaton Village neighbourhood and it passes through Mirvish Village, The Annex, Palmerston–Little Italy, Trinity–Bellwoods and ends at West Queen Street West at its south end.
Mirvish+Gehry is a planned two-tower mixed-use building complex in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The towers were designed by Frank Gehry in partnership with David Mirvish. The project is located on King Street West at Duncan Street in Toronto's Entertainment District.