Born in Colonial Beach, Virginia to Jewish Lithuanian immigrant parents, Ed dropped out of high school at the age of 15 to run the family grocery store in Toronto after his father died. This instilled in him a passion for business that never left. He became known in Toronto as Honest Ed eventually opening his world famous discount shop at the corner of Bloor and Bathurst which was celebrated as much as a shop, as it was a tourist attraction. His annual turkey give away was his was of giving back to the community that loved and supported him.
Later in life he became well known as a theatrical impresario and producer, eventually purchasing the Royal Alexandra Theatre in 1963 that he restored to beauty. He quickly became a major force in live theatre in Toronto and went on to buy and restore the Old Vic in London, England and to build the Princess of Wales theatre in Toronto in the 1990's.
He was a flambouyant man with a love of life and drama. Ed Mirvish was a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and a Member of the Order of Canada as well as the recipient of many other awards.
He will be missed.