Many of our American readers will wonder why I am putting up a obituary for a discount store owner, but no Torontonian will even think twice about my reasoning.
Edwin Mirvish, AKA Honest Ed Mirvish is the worlds best example of a responsible capitalist.
Honest Ed, for years ran Honest Eds World Famous Never Duplicated Bargain House in Downtown Toronto. He was a Millionaire many times over but not just in money. Ed Mirvish was loved by everyone that worked for him everyone who knew him and anyone that loved the arts and theatre in Toronto. Mirvish not only kept his prices low enough so everyone could afford to buy his discount junk (yeh a lot of it was Junk) but he filtered a great amount of the profits back into the arts community in Toronto. He also invested wisely in Toronto and his investment in the people and the city paid off for him in many ways.
He helped those in need when he could with, free legal and immigrant services, he rented his properties to small businesses at rates below the going rate, he restored the Royal Alexandra theatre, the Old Vic in London and in 1993 Toronto’s Princess of Wales theatre. He even gave out free turkeys at Christmas. Sure he made money he was a businessman, but one that never forgot that his customers were human, not money dispensing machines. It seems his son David is also of this same type. If we must live in a capitalist world, let us have socially responsible capitalists like Honest Ed Mirvish and his son David.
Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah, Ch. 344
“It is a great mitzvah to properly eulogize the deceased. The mitzvah requires raising the voice to say things that break people’s hearts in order to increase the weeping and to remember his virtues. It is prohibited, however, to exaggerate excessively in praise of him. Instead, it is proper to mention his good qualities and to add just a little, as long as there is no exaggeration. If the deceased had no virtues at all, nothing should be said”.
Torontonians will agree even in calling Honest Ed the “worlds best example of a responsible capitalist” I have not exaggerate excessively in praise on him.
Goodbye Ed Mirvish
Funeral for ‘Honest Ed’ today
Last Updated: Friday, July 13, 2007 | 8:39 AM ET
Thousands are expected today at the funeral of Ed Mirvish, Toronto’s beloved shopkeeper, theatre booster and generous man of the people.
The ceremony is at 11 a.m. ET at Beth Tzedec Synagogue, 1700 Bathurst St., south of Eglinton Avenue. Police are expecting heavy traffic in the area and possible road closures.
Ed Mirvish was known for his giveaways. He hands out turkeys at Christmas with his son David.
(CBC) Mirvish, better known as Honest Ed after his iconic department store at Bloor and Bathurst streets, died Wednesday at age 92.
Since his death, people from all walks of life have marvelled at the impact his life had on the city. Many remember his generosity, including holiday turkey giveaways and birthday celebrations at the store, but it’s his genuine concern for ordinary people that shines through.
Mirvish’s business career began suddenly when his father died and left the 15-year-old with a store to run. It grew into the enormous Honest Ed’s department store that still dominates its neighbourhood.
Inspired by his wife Anne, an artist and singer, Mirvish added theatres to his enterprise beginning in 1962 with the purchase of the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto’s downtown. This saved the historic venue, which opened in 1907, from demolition.
In 1982, he purchased the Old Vic in London, England, acting without even visiting the building, but inspired by the many stories he had heard about the venerable stage from world-famous British actors who visited the Royal Alex. It has since been sold.
In 1993, Mirvish and son, David, added Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre to the empire.