A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘honest ed’s

[PHOTO] Honest Ed’s from the north

Honest Ed's from the north #toronto #honesteds #theannex #bathurststreet

The Honest Ed’s sign will be taken down in a week for relocation, and the building torn down later. Taking photo will soon be impossible.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 19, 2017 at 12:22 pm

[PHOTO] “Mantova” Grape Seed Oil, $4.99 @ 77 Roncesvalles Avenue

"Mantova" Grape Seed Oil, $4.99 #toronto #roncesvalles #honesteds

I was amused to see this neatly framed old sign from Honest Ed’s in the window of Soho Art Custom Framing on 77 Roncesvalles Avenue. From ad to art–high-priced art, too, I’m sure.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 11, 2017 at 11:17 am

[URBAN NOTE] “This is what Mirvish Village will look like in 5 years”

blogTO’s Derek Flack shares links and images of the plans for Mirvish Village in five years’ time.

With the doors to Honest Ed’s officially closed for good, it’s time to turn our attention to the future of Mirvish Village. We now have a much better of idea of what it’ll look like that thanks to the most recent planning documents filed by site developer Westbank.

The Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village project has undergone extensive revisions in response to community consultation, heritage evaluation and municipal feedback. Now in its third iteration, the plans are starting to resemble what we might see in the next few years.

Some of the highlights from the most recent renderings of the project include a sprawling public park that stretches out from Markham Street, a slick new market building that’ll span 20,000-plus square feet, and a micro retail corridor roughly where Honest Ed’s Alley once was.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 4, 2017 at 4:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Koreatown unsure of what comes next after Mirvish Village”

blogTO’s Amy Grief looks at the speculation in Koreatown as to what will happen to this Bloor West neighbourhood after Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village are gone.

Mirvish Village is vacant and Honest Ed’s had its big goodbye party this past weekend. The end is nigh for the southwest corner of Bloor and Bathurst as the wrecking ball slowly swoops in.

While the intersection was lively this weekend, it’s going to be pretty quiet for the next little while. That’s why I spoke to some of those nearby to see what they think about living and working near a ghost town.

“I think it does feel a bit empty in this moment, but I don’t think it’s really hit a lot of us until we start to see the kind of demolition of buildings,” says Adil Dhalla, one of the organizers behind last weekend’s festivities. We spoke as he was setting up the space.

Dhalla is also the executive direct of the Centre for Social Innovation, which is headquartered just south of Honest Ed’s.

The CSI also has a location in Regent Park, so Dhalla knows it can be complicated to watch as a neighbourhood changes.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 2, 2017 at 9:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Honest Ed’s redevelopment shows what it takes to make a Village”

The Globe and Mail‘s Alex Bozikovic really quite likes the proposed redevelopment of the area of Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village.

Mirvish Village is dead. Long live Mirvish Village. In the area near Honest Ed’s this week, workers had put up fences around a string of Victorian houses on Markham Street, preparing to gut them, while creatives assembled an “Art Maze” inside the old Honest Ed’s store for a festival and sendoff, An Honest Farewell, this weekend.

It’s the end of an age at Bloor and Bathurst Streets: the loveable shambles of Honest Ed’s is gone forever. But as this weekend’s events suggest, the past will continue to have a presence on the site.

The new development at Mirvish Village, after two years of conversation between developers Westbank, locals and the city, is inching closer to approval, with a new proposal submitted in January to the city. Westbank paid $72-million for the site, a big number, and yet the result is as good as private development gets in Toronto. It features meaningful preservation of heritage buildings, a serious sustainability agenda, and affordable housing – not to mention an architectural and leasing strategy geared at making the place as lively as possible, even a bit weird.

That’s all because the developers have been ready to engage in meaningful discussion: The city and the community have made this proposal better through talking and listening.

When the first Westbank proposal emerged in early 2015, “I think [the City of Toronto] were surprised by how much we were offering,” the main architect, Vancouver’s Gregory Henriquez, told me last week. “That’s how we deal in Vancouver: We come with our best offer.”

Written by Randy McDonald

February 25, 2017 at 7:45 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “An Honest Farewell: goodbye Honest Ed’s, hello Toronto’s diverse future”

NOW Toronto‘s Susan G. Cole reports on An Honest Farewell, this weekend’s ongoing festivities surrounding the closing of Honest Ed’s. I really do like this urban initiative, and I have been and will be taking part in it: I went to the community market in the old Bad Boys space just now, and tomorrow morning I will be doing the art maze. (Photos, among other things, will be coming from me.)

AN HONEST FAREWELL a festival celebrating inclusiveness, community and social innovation, at Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor West), Thursday to Sunday (February 23 to 26). $16.50 for some events. Buy tickets and/or register at torontoforeveryone.com.

We know it’s coming. We might even admit that it’s about time. But many of us are dreading it: that moment when Honest Ed’s goes down. Not the store – that happened last year – but the building, that crazy edifice festooned with neon that flashed garishly at the corner of Bloor and Bathurst.

But the Centre for Social Innovation is turning this sad moment in Toronto history into an opportunity. An Honest Farewell, their multi-day culture fest, celebrates the past, present and future with the accent on building a city that is joyously inclusive.

The fact that I’m talking to co-producers Hima Batavia and Negin Sairafi just days after U.S. President Trump has announced his travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries lends the project a new urgency. T.O. is always promoting its diversity, but with xenophobes taking over below the 49th parallel, protecting that inclusiveness takes on new meaning.

“My passport says Iran,” explains Sairafi, angered by the confusion the executive order has created. “So I can’t travel to the States. Then again, maybe I can. It’s a privilege to be able to travel and to have a Canadian passport, but it’s still ironic that I’m working on a project like this and having to face the reality of what people are going through around the world. It makes our work – and especially what we do after this – so much more important.”

When Sairafi mentions what comes after An Honest Farewell, she’s referring to the fact that the fest says goodbye to an iconic edifice but also launches CSI’s Toronto For Everyone (TO4E) campaign to build a city committed to inclusiveness.

But the focus for four days beginning February 23 is a cultural blitz that transforms the one-time bargain emporium into an arts extravaganza and venue for public debate on the city’s future.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 24, 2017 at 10:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Farewell bash at Honest Ed’s a party for everyone”

The Toronto Star‘s Laura Beeston describes a fantastic-sounding farewell weekend of parties and celebrations at Honest Ed’s. I must get in on this, somehow.

A group of volunteers had a mission when they got keys to the city’s most famous bargain department store in the first week of February.

Toronto For Everyone didn’t want to just throw the “first, last and only farewell” to Honest Ed’s as we knew it. The group wanted to imagine what inclusive city building could look like moving forward.

Honest Ed’s “was one of the first businesses in the city that thought about how to incorporate philanthropy,” said #TO4E co-producer Hima Batavia, 32.

“A big part of it is, yes, saying goodbye to a physical building, but how do we bring those values forward?”

It was more than a store but a place that welcomed everyone, said co-producer Negin Sairafi, 31.

“How can we extract that, bottle it, and use it throughout our city building in the future?”

Written by Randy McDonald

February 18, 2017 at 9:15 pm