By Nicole Culp, TNG Reporter at Large, January 2017, All Rights Reserved
I was walking by Honest Ed's the day before it closed. It was happenstance, but I was grateful for the coincidence. I went in for one last peruse, of the handful I've engaged in. Each of my past visits have been accidental stop ins, on the way to somewhere with a little extra time, remembering that I needed toothpaste or shoe laces or long johns. If I hadn't found what I needed there, I would've found it somewhere else, but it wouldn't have been quite as lovely. I appreciated Honest Ed's in passing, and I went in the day before it closed to appreciate it with intention.
All of the stock was cleared, save some passed over cassettes and knick knacks and the last of the Mirvish theatre production posters and hand-painted signs. But it was filled with people; taking pictures, sitting in empty displays, standing in a formidable line so they could leave with their card-stock piece of Toronto history. I felt bad that I hadn't come sooner, to see it as I had always experienced it, but I was heartened to see such a public display of affection.
I don't want to overstate my love for Honest Ed's – that would be glib. The nature of our relationship was the same as my last visit, happenstance. But it does have meaning. What it means now is understanding and engaging in what's to come; development plans that call for 1,000 rental apartments, a permanent public market, and negotiations that include a daycare, and a public art component, to name a few. And from February 23-26, Toronto for Everyone – a 4-day farewell to Honest Ed's in the form of an art maze, community hub, market, and general good cheer – will bridge everything we love about what Honest Ed's gave to our city, and everything we need to learn from it and impart as we continue to grow. This time around, I won't be a passer-by.
To learn more about Toronto for Everyone:
To read up on plans for Mirvish Village:
For a lovely goodbye: