Today Wed Thu
It is forecast to be Clear at 11:00 PM EDT on July 22, 2014
Clear
28°/21°
It is forecast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on July 23, 2014
Partly Cloudy
22°/15°
It is forecast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on July 24, 2014
Partly Cloudy
23°/15°

5 Comments

culture

What An Honest Ed’s Sign Will Cost You

Honest Ed's crazy prices go in the other direction as people sell their signs on eBay.

For over six decades, Honest Ed’s has been an institution at Bathurst and Bloor. It has drawn colourful commentary from writers like Pico Iyer and M.G Vassanji, and earned one of the more memorable sequences in the Scott Pilgrim series, when the hapless hero has to figure out how to navigate the discount emporium’s labyrinthine layout.

Honest Ed’s has become a character in Toronto in and of itself, and on March 10, people lined up to show how much they wanted to take part of that with them before the building Vassanji called a “block-wide carnival” becomes a predictable condo.

And so hundreds of Torontonians took a unique piece of Honest Ed’s home with them for characteristically reasonable prices. Over a thousand hand-painted signs were available for sale, most for between $2 and $8, and people waited hours for the privilege to get their own.

You can still get a sign, but it will cost you. On eBay, Craigslist, and Kijiji, most signs are going for between $100 and $200. One oversized sign on eBay is currently asking for US$550; it has received four bids but has declined them. There are six bids on a sign promoting an “Ed’s Bargain” for “Ladies and Misses Fashion Dresses, $2.99″ that is currently going for the decidedly un-Ed-like price of $132.50. There are more than three days left in the auction, so it will likely go for more.

Craigslist and Kijiji aren’t that different, with a sign selling Hawaiian Tropic sunblock asking for $200 and $100 for a sign selling air freshners.

So getting an Honest Ed’s sign and capturing some of that nostalgia Vassanji writes about will basically cost you the equivalent of one or two tickets to a Mirvish production. But at least you won’t have to wait in line. That is, unless you plan to be there when the condo sales centre opens.

Comments

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    How much to commission Wayne Reuben to paint one?

    • dsmithhfx

      He should do a Roy Lichtenstein.

  • MLO

    It’s all a market based on the hype of the event. 2,000 of these in the wild won’t command the same price in a couple years.
    However, it makes me wonder if Ed’s will be seeing some of its signs go missing… they’re among the most valuable things in the store!

  • Lloyd_Davis

    David Mirvish has quite the art collection. I hope he’s keeping a few of the signs for his own walls. It’d also be nice if Toronto had a city museum that could house a few dozen of them. Would make for a neat exhibition.

  • Bumbaclot

    Everything in that store is hideous. I wouldn’t want to touch an Honest Ed “artifact,” let alone own it.