There are a few other things about Honest Ed’s that I find mirrored in Toronto. Probably the most prominent is a fairly deep-rooted sense of history. Okay, I know, it’s no European or Asian history, but it’s a minor miracle that some of this stuff has survived over a hundred years. Some more than that. The weather’s not kind to any structure — frozen water in cracks can split boulders — so I find it kind of impressive that one of the gargoyles on Old City Hall hasn’t crushed anyone yet. Honest Ed’s wears its age in the same way — proud and stalwart.
And I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I think it’s fantastic how many new buildings are being constructed on, outside, or inside new structures. There’s no point in keeping a rotting building standing, but that doesn’t mean something can’t be salvaged. And parking lots, raze and raise anew, that’s a no-brainer. In fact, a well-planned building can significantly increase public parking simply through increased vertical space. Assuming you’d need to drive.
I actually laughed when I read through the whole article in the next photo. I included it extra-large so that you can read it for yourself, dear reader. I hope — I didn’t want to make it too big. The gist of it is, why can’t the queen do something more interesting while she’s in Canada. Among the suggestions of gently ageing attractions is, of course, Honest Ed’s. Honest Ed’s is, in fact, mentioned exactly twice: once in the headline, and once in very much the same phrasing, context, and spirit as the headline, at the bottom of the first paragraph.
It’s as pawing and inoffensive (i.e. saying as little as possible), as cheese gets, kinda like Céline Dion (on behalf of all Canadians, I’m deeply sorry). Yet, despite the awful awful writing and pointless drivel (Gary Lautens’ way of saying “I just don’t care anymore”), Ed decided to blow it up, frame it, and stick it front-and-center on his store. It doesn’t say Honest Ed’s is a cheap-hound’s humping leg (note: *woof!*). Nor does it it insinuate that Ed Mirvish may have been unbelievably high on LSD for most of his adult life (note: I’m willing to start this rumour if you are – I think it’ll fly).
In fact, nothing provocative is said about the store at all except that, on average, the writer thinks you’ll spend about half an hour there. And I dunno about you but that provokes nothing in me. Maybe, yeah, I guess I spend half an hour in there? Maybe more? Ooh, sizzling controversy!
And this, writing about a guy who really didn’t keep much in.
What I find both funny and revealing about this is that the strangest people get a voice in this city. Sometimes we call these people special-interest groups – which they obviously are – or loud kooks, or in this case I can’t help but get the feeling that Ed and Gary were chums.
So it’s kind of nice that I can wander on down to the corner and start screaming whatever I damn well please. Or pretty much. Also, even though I most certainly reserve the unmitigated right to continue to be arbitrarily critical, I do like the fact that ridiculous stuff is getting a hearing. In fact, it almost forces a reply!
Same goes for scandal. Okay, I won’t defend it – of course not; but the fact that we’re hearing about it means that it’s getting uncovered. And sometimes TCL benefits.
Okay, I know that the connection between this version of things and Honest Ed’s is a bit tenuous. But nonetheless true – I saw things differently that day. I’ve considered the possibility that it was just because I’d recently accepted a new job, or because I happened to be a little pickled, and I’ll cede that both are likely to have played a large role. But something stayed with me even to this day. Ed took me to school (from beyond the grave!)
Really decent prices too.