Work at CSI for the day with our new Lounge Pass!

‘Crazy’ going away party planned for Toronto’s Honest Ed’s



The Centre for Social Innovation is organizing a sendoff for the beloved bargain store, before it gets demolished next year.

If you’ve ever felt like partying in the aisles of Honest Ed’s, you’re about to get your chance.

The iconic bargain store is slated to close at the end of the year, as part of a massive redevelopment of Mirvish Village. But before the building comes down, the Centre for Social Innovation is looking to send off Honest Ed’s in a style befitting its founder.
“I think it’s going to be crazy, but Honest Ed was a bit crazy, so it’s perfect,” said Adil Dhalla, director of culture at CSI.

The event – slated for late winter – is still in the planning stages, but Dhalla promised a “multi-day” affair full of art, music and local retailers. Better still, festivities will take place “both inside and outside” of the store.

“It’ll be the first, last and only event before the building gets demolished,” he said.
Although he billed himself as “cheapskate,” Ed Mirvish was one of Toronto’s most generous philanthropists. He also worked to make his store accessible to all of Toronto’s residents, an ethos CSI is looking to emulate by inviting the public to help plan the party.

“Doing this project, we heard about how close Honest Ed’s was to people’s immigrant experiences or just their early experiences in Toronto,” Dhalla said. “Honest Ed’s made Toronto possible for a lot of us and we want to share that story.”

In addition to celebrating Honest Ed’s place in Toronto’s history books, Dhalla said the event will also focus on the future of the site. Developer Westbank is proposing building a 1,000-unit rental project there, including a bevy of community amenities, including parks, public squares and childcare facilities.

“We’re going to lose something iconic, and the hope is that we’ll get something iconic back in its place,” Dhalla said.

Republished from Toronto Metro, Tue Sep 06 2016

Keep Reading
A black and white photograph from the 1940s of the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
You may know Viola Desmond from school lessons, from history books, from the ten dollar bill, or from the Viola Desmond room on the third floor of CSI Spadina! Desmond was an entrepreneur who helped to catalyze the Canadian Civil Rights movement.
Screenshot 2024-01-25 at 3.03
STEPS Public Art, one of CSI's many esteemed alumni, celebrated a pretty big milestone recently - 10 years! After their big anniversary party at CSI Spadina, we knew we had to catch up with them to learn more about their experience and their first decade of social impact. Read on for the full interview!
A view of 720 Bathurst Street. It is a brick building, 5 storeys tall, and we are looking at the eastern facade, which faces Bathurst Street. The northern wall is covered in ivy.
On Monday, January 22nd, CSI launched the official RFP process for anyone interested in the purchase of the storied brick and beam gem, 720 Bathurst St., that has been home to CSI Annex for the last decade. 
Become A Member