Today we take a look back in time. Things are happening so fast in our world today that we seldom take a moment to see where we’ve come from. History can teach us not to make the same mistakes again, but it seems that collectively, we choose not to heed those mistakes and in turn, make them again. I choose to look at our history through rose coloured glasses because most of us do not want to remember the actual truths of yesteryear, but only a sanitized version of it. I wish that I had all the back stories for these pictures, but I don’t. Enjoy.


01250314 02250314 03250314 04250314 05250314 1920s Flapper Lucy Doraine - Photo by George Hommel1920s Flapper Lucy Doraine – Photo by George Hommel

06250314 Arctic explorer Peter Freuchen and his wife Dagmar GaleArctic explorer Peter Freuchen and his wife Dagmar Gale

07250314 08250314 09250314 10250314 11250314 Chicago Cubs’ 1908 mascot was horrifying; possibly a giant squirrelChicago Cubs’ 1908 mascot was horrifying; possibly a giant squirrel

12050314  Photo Of 19 Year Old Lucille BallPhoto Of 19 Year Old Lucille Ball

13250314 14250314 15250314 16250314 Cléo de Mérode, photo by Félix Nadar, 1893Cléo de Mérode   photo by Félix Nadar, 1893

17250314 18250314 19250314 Westbank is a leading luxury residential, office and hotel developerA Toronto, Ontario, Canada icon. My parents used to take my siblings and I to Honest Ed’s for some of their incredible sales. It was a place that you had to go in to in order to understand the madness of it’s owner, Ed Mirvish. His son, David Mirvish, sold it to Westbank Properties, a leading luxury residential, office and hotel developer for a rumoured price of around $100 million CDN. It was opened from 1948 – 2014. They are now just selling off the signs. It will be missed.

20250314 21250314 22250314 23250314 2425031425250314 Vikki “The Back” Dougan, 1957. She was the inspiration for the cartoon femme fatale, Jessica Rabbit  Vikki “The Back” Dougan, 1957. She was the inspiration for the cartoon femme fatale, Jessica Rabbit.

26250314 27250314 28250314 29250314 30250314 Soviet Plane-spotters around 1917Soviet Plane-spotters around 1917

31250314 32250314 33250314 34250314 photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston, one of the many portraits of Ziegfeld Follies showgirls between 1927 and 1929Photograph by Alfred Cheney Johnston, one of the many portraits of Ziegfeld Follies showgirls between 1927 and 1929

35250314 36250314 37250314 38250314 Final days of Samurai, 1868 JapanFinal days of Samurai, 1868, Japan

39250314 40250314 41250314 42250314 43250314 44250314 45250314 46250314 47250314





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  1. Deacon March 25, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    I had no idea that Honest Eds is going. I wonder if they couldn’t compete with all the big box stores, or is Ed’s son so rich he doesn’t need the family heritage? I realize the world changes but to me some things are icons of society and we learn from them. There have been a lot of family businesses close lately after decades and some a lot longer and I think part of this loss is because the young people who have inherited the businesses, really don’t appreciate them. Many of them never had to actually scrimp and save and work hard and fail and recoup, because their parent or parents who had succeeded had enough money to keep their children in the lifestyle they wanted. A lot of these kids have never been put into a position to really prove their worth. Money begets money and if you have a lot of it, short of being a complete idiot and making massively stupid mistakes, you have the power to make more money.
    Back in the mid 1970’s I met Ed Mirvish. At the time I was the youngest salesman for a N. American company and I was at a meeting in TO. A few of us salesmen went out to dinner and ended up at Ed’s restaurant. At the door the maitre d’ said I had to wear a tie. I was wearing a suit and dress shirt, but open collar which was the fashion at the time. The maitre d’ had given me a black clip on tie and I refused to wear it because it just looked stupid. The maitre d’ excused himself and returned with this slightly balding man who introduced himself as the owner. It was Ed Mirvish. He took me aside and we talked and the man was so disarming. He could sell snowballs to an Eskimo. Not only did I wear the tie but I was happy to. That, is salesmanship!
    Not being from TO I had heard of Ed Mirvish but I didn’t realize the scope of who this man was until the other salesmen at the table filled me in. Later he came by our table and sat down and talked with us. At one point I asked him what was the one thing he felt that made him a success. His reply was “doing everything everyone else told me not to do”. I’ve kept those words of wisdom with me ever since.

    • ODDMAN March 25, 2014 at 11:48 am #

      When he first opened, he had so little stock that he filled the shelves with empty boxes to make it look like he had more inventory that he really had. That was told to me by my parents and grandparents who lived in Toronto at that time.

      I met him when I was about 12 in Oakville where I lived. The old Parker estate (a huge farm that had over the years been sold off to developers and he made millions in the 40’s & 50’s) had an auction after Mr Parker died. Mr. Parker had collected a lot of statues and antiques over the years and he was there to buy for Ed’s Warehouse, his restaurant. For years, I would take teenage dates there for dinner and still see the statues that I used to play around when we went into his fields. Even at 12, Ed Mirvish had an aura about him that was just exciting.

      It is the end of an era.

  2. Deacon March 25, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    The girl in the cheerleader uniform in the back seat of the car with the playing cards, looks like a young Jane Fonda.

  3. LC Aggie Sith March 25, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    Looking at these photos from yesteryear, I can’t help but notice that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    I wish I had been able to see Honest Ed’s, just once. I’ll settle for seeing any part of Canada.

    Even tundra 😀

    • ODDMAN March 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

      The size of Honest Ed’s was an actual city block. I used to take out-of-town friends there when I lived in Oakville, 20 miles west of Toronto.

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