Class of 1995
Edwin Mirvish, storekeeper, restaurateur, international patron of the arts, is known to the world as “Honest Ed.”
Nine year old Ed began working as a stock boy in his father’s grocery store. After his father’s death Ed struggled to keep the fledgling store open. When it eventually folded Ed went to work in a supermarket.
In 1941 Mirvish and his wife Anne opened a tiny sportswear shop. They rapidly expanding lines of merchandise soon occupied an entire block. Ed’s philosophy of low prices, warehouse-style merchandising and cash only created the unique shopping emporium – Honest Ed’s.
Ed’s next investment was to convert nearby row housing into a collection of studios, specialty shops and restaurants known as Mirvish Village.
In 1962 Ed purchased and refurbished Toronto’s “Royal Alex” Theatre. Next door he opened Ed’s Warehouse – the first of six theme restaurants built for the convenience of theatre patrons. The Mirvish name became known internationally when in 1982 Ed and his son David purchased England’s Old Vic Theatre. Their privately funded Princess of Wales Theatre opened in Toronto in 1993.
Of his multi million dollar empire Edwin Mirvish, remarkably genuine and generous, wrote “Looking back, it has taken me just seventy years to become an overnight success.”