Bargain king dies before 93rd birthday



Lucas Oleniuk/torstar news service


With tears in his eyes, a mourner salutes a memorial poster set up for Ed Mirvish, below, in the storefront window of Honest Ed’s at Bloor and Bathurst streets yesterday.


“I’m going to get emotional,” said Dina Ikosipentarhos, adjusting her sunglasses in the checkout line at Honest Ed’s yesterday.

As a little girl in the early 1970s, Ikosipentarhos came often with her family to shop for bargains at the flashy discount department store at Bloor and Bathurst streets, as did other neighbourhood immigrant families of Greek, Portuguese and Italian origin, she said.

“We bought school supplies here,” she said, “and bathing suits. For a child, it was so much fun, even if we didn’t have much money.”

The low prices helped such families raise children who went on to professional careers, as a teacher in her case. Her parents still shop at the store. Yesterday’s trip was a special one, she said, in honour of “Honest Ed” Mirvish.

A sign on one of the east doors, painted years ago, says: “Ed doesn’t want to achieve immortality through his work. He wants to achieve it through not dying.”

It was one of the few goals Mirvish failed to accomplish, less than two weeks short of his 93rd birthday on July 24.

People began spontaneously placing bouquets on the sidewalk in front of a window display that employees created, featuring Mirvish’s photograph.

Members of the public can also express their condolences online at; by phone message at 416-351-1229 ext. 422; and by signing a book of condolence at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W., daily between 11.a.m. and 6.p.m.