‘Honest Ed’ Mirvish dies at 92

Edwin Mirvish, known as "Honest Ed," died yesterday in Toronto two weeks shy of his 93rd birthday.

Right: "Honest Ed" Mirvish (CBC image)

An entrepreneur and colourful self-promoter from humble beginnings who made a fortune as the owner of the giant, world-famous discount emporium called Honest Ed’s, Mirvish became a theatre impresario and producer, and a major cultural force in Toronto. He built a theatre empire that began in 1963 when he rescued from demolition and restored the Royal Alexandra Theatre. In the 1980s he bought and restored the Old Vic in London, England, and, in 1993, with son David, he built the award-winning Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.

Mirvish was a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, a Member of the Order of Canada and the recipient of more than 250 awards, including a 1992 honorary degree from York for his community contributions.

He leaves his wife Anne and son David, a major theatre producer who serves on York’s Faculty of Fine Arts advisory council.