Honest Ed’s, Toronto’s most revered discount store (founded by the local legend Ed Mirvish), will close on December 31 after nearly 70 years of business. As a tribute, the nearest subway station is giving itself the Honest Ed’s design treatment.
For the rest of 2016, Bathurst station will be covered in signage that pays tribute to the hand-painted prices and puns synonymous with the store’s image. With a TTC-themed twist, riders will come across slogans including “TTC is the best value, Landsdowne,” “Give us a Finch, and we’ll take you a mile,” and “Been there, Dundas.” They’ll also have to navigate their way around the station with Honest Ed’s-style directional signs—a radical departure from the austere sans-serif ones seen throughout the TTC.
While charming, it’s rather strange to see a public entity pay such a thorough tribute to a private business. The gesture, however, seems to have hit a soft spot for nostalgic Torontonians who have seen the city change dramatically after decades of growth and new wealth. Brad Ross, the TTC’s Executive Director of Corporate Communications, received a deluge of responses on Twitter asking to make the transformation permanent after he shared photos of the Bathurst makeover earlier this week. Ross says there will eventually be a permanent tribute to the store inside the station.
The site where Honest Ed’s now stands is slated to become part of a mixed-use development known as “Mirvish Village” in the coming years.