very charming personality behind Honest Ed’s is Ed Mirvish himself.
Ed Mirvish was born on July 24th, 1914 in Colonial Beach, Virginia
and moved with his family from Washington, DC to Toronto, Ontario in
1924. He married his wife Anne in 1941.
After trying his hand at running several different businesses,
including a dress shop and a cleaner’s, he moved on to a small
bargain store which he opened in 1948, using his wife’s $212.00
insurance policy. He is renowned for his ability to gain free
publicity, doing such things as riding an elephant to hiring
protestors to picket his own store.
His annual birthday party has become legendary, with the attendance
each year of nearly 50,000 people, including the city’s mayor and
police chief. During the party there is plenty of free food, gifts
and entertainment in the “Mirvish village” area surrounding his
Ed Mirvish also owns several theatres, including the Royal Alexandre
theatre, the Princess of Wales theatre and the Old Vic theatre in
London, England. Together with his son David, they operated Mirvish
In 1978 Mr. Mirvish was made a Member of the Order of Canada for his
contributions to Toronto and the Canadian Nation. He was promoted to
Officer in 1987.
Mirvish passed away on July 11, 2007 at the age of 92.
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