He came to Canada with nothing, a common immigrant story. He once shared a bathroom with fifty people which a framed newspaper article attests on the wall of his iconic business at Bathurst and Bloor. Honest Ed Mirvish died five years ago. Yesterday the Canon Theatre was officially renamed Ed Mirvish Theatre. In his life, Mirvish was known in Toronto for his theatres and restaurants. His first purchase was the Royal Alexandra Theatre in 1962 and refurbished it, revitalizing the Toronto theatre scene. He even bought and renovated an area warehouse building, which he turned into a restaurant. Mirvish then opened Ed’s Seafood, Ed’s Folly, Ed’s Chinese, Ed’s Italian Restaurant and Old Ed’s. Furthermore, this mogul built the Princess of Wales Theatre, signed a management contract to run the Pantages Theatre, and renamed the Canon Theatre for Clear Channel Entertainment. He went on to produce, or co-produce the staging’s of such recent hits as The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, The producers, and Hairspray. In 1982 Ed and David Mirvish bought and restored London’s Old Vic. Ed and Anne Mirvish marked their 65th wedding anniversary with a party at the Princess of Wales Theatre in 2006. Honest Ed Mirvish died on July 11, 2007. Before Mirvish immigrated to Toronto, we had no million dollar musicals. Can you imagine if Ed Mirvish went to New York?
Paul Collins, author of Mack Dunstan’s Inferno / Mystery of Everyman’s Way
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