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Honest Red’s

If you live in Toronto, you will almost certainly have heard of Honest Ed’s, the giant bargain discount store that existed until relatively recently at the corner of Bloor and Bathurst. But did you know that there was an Honest Red’s at one time?

The November 21 1952 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad from Honest Red’s:

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Honest Red’s was a new business at the time of this ad – it did not appear in the 1952 city directory, as the College Variety Centre and Seabrook Florist were in the space. It did appear in the 1953 city directory.

By 1955, Honest Red’s was at 924 College Street only; 926 College had been taken over by Bedford Men’s Wear. By 1957, Honest Red’s was no more, though the city directory did list two separate businesses named Honest Ned’s.

As for Honest Ed’s? It had an ad in the paper too:

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Honest Ed’s was probably entitled to point out that it was “often imitated, but never duplicated”.

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