'Honest Ed' Mirvish dies at the age of 92
The businessman known as 'Honest Ed', who entertained Toronto for decades with crazy slogans at his legendary discount department store, has died at the age of 92.
A statement from the family says he died early Wednesday at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.
Born July 24, 1914, in Colonial Beach, Va., Mirvish was just weeks away from his 93rd birthday.
After moving to Toronto in 1923, Mirvish lived with his family above their downtown Dundas Street grocery store.
Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
Mirvish was also known for his giveaways, equal parts marketing stunts and an expression of his generous community spirit: he handed out free turkeys at the discount store near certain holidays and hosted street parties on his birthday, doling out free hot dogs and cake.
Mirvish was at least as renowned for his generosity to the arts. Inspired by his wife Anne, an artist and singer, Mirvish added live theatre to his growing enterprises.
In 1962, he saved Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre from demolition and restored the historic downtown venue.
In 1982, Mirvish purchased and refurbished Britain's famed Old Vic Theatre in London and, in 1993, built the Princess of Wales Theatre with his son David.