The iconic Las Vegas-style Honest Ed’s sign in downtown Toronto will be preserved after all.
David Mirvish announced on Wednesday one of the large-scale exterior signs located at the corner of Markham and Bloor streets will be removed, refurbished and placed on the facade of the Ed Mirvish Theatre on Victoria Street.
“It is fitting that a sign from the original store that made it possible for my father to become involved in theatre will now grace the venue that is named for him,” Mirvish said in a media release.
“I’m sure he would be delighted to see two of his great passions — Honest Ed’s, which in many ways was a theatrical setting for a grand parade of humanity, and the theatre world, which he loved — finally be joined together.”
There was speculation that the signs, which were originally erected in 1984, would be destroyed once construction started on a new 29-storey residential and commercial complex.
The kitschy Toronto retail shop closed its doors on Dec. 31 after being in business for 68 years.
Mirvish said he and the new owners of the property, Westbank Corporation, spent months trying to figure out how to preserve at least one of the outdoor signs.
Mayor John Tory applauded the move praising both parties for coming to an agreement.
“Some people might say that it’s a garish sign but it is a part of our history,” Tory told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s an important part of the history of this community and I’m glad to hear that it has been worked out.”
“In the end, I don’t think it’s really for government to have to dictate these things. Rather it is for those who are developing the city to come to some resolution that can find a place for these sort of things to be preserved.”
The installation of the Honest Ed’s sign at the Ed Mirvish Theatre still has to be approved by city officials. Once that’s done, Mirvish said a timeline will be announced for its erection and unveiling.