Honest Ed’s Last Christmas

I work at CSI Annex which just put to bed and closed the doors on a Toronto Marketing Monument – Honest Eds located … no, no – really spread out Westbound over  the south side  block  at Bathurst and Bloor in the heart of Toronto’s ethnic communities. For me, despite the heartfelt send off, Honest Eds should not be condo-minimized. There should be a better way to preserve a part of the city’s heritage. But the fate of the great Bank Buildings along Bay and Queen Street 60-70 years ago wrote the epitaph on historical preservation in the Queen City especially for Business Buildings. 

So this posting is sort of a visual elegy to Honestly Eds Space on its last few fortnights in Toronto. Its pictures  from the last Christmas parade to go by Ed’s year-round Christmas decoration on Bloor Street. Yes there is a bit of melancholy and irony. But, as always some stark beauty to be found too.First to be seen is the Bloor Street Ornament Extraordinaire:

Honestly Looking West
Heading East on Bloor
Waiting for the parade along on Honest Eds
Kids bundled up
Going West...
At the corner of Bathurst & Bloor

The Santa Parade for 2016 

It was windy, humid, cold and blowing snow Santa Claus Parade Day in Toronto. The kind of cold that you have to shield and layer yourself against. And that is what Moms and Dads did for their kids all along the parade route. But inevitably the kids will play – even a hockey game breaks out. And of coutrse there is Christmas confetti everywhere too.

The kids normally draw chalk figures and paintings on Bloor street waiting for the parade to start;but the chill winds and melting snow cut into that creative recreation. But some kids used the lane markers to make up improvised hop scotch matches while future Maple Leafs to be had to sharpen their skills with some street ball.. But remrkably the parade started right about on schedule.

Parade Starts

Toronto Constabulary on Horseback – Some with Red Noses

The Toronto Constabulary on Horseback and the Mother Goose float start the parade off. Okay, that is not strictly true. The Santa Parade 8K runners start things moving about 5 minutes before the official start. Now I fail to understand why the runners are spotted such a head start because they finish at least a half hours ahead of the rest of the parade at the downtown finish.

Next the clowns seemed to be itching to start and broke a bit early themselves, maybe to soften up the kids and parents with their outlandish costumes and free giveaways.But after that the alternating clowns, floats and big school bands carrying just as many flags as instruments  marched, serenaded and often bedazzled the parade watchers:

If you examine the pictures there is two sentiments predominating among the parade goers and watchers. First, there is a obvious sense of fun and joy particularly among the paraders. Big smiles if not a sense of play and enjoyment. Second, to be honest, there is the look of “Baby its cold outside”. And so this photographer, handling a big metal camera lens needed a warming pitstop -and why not “there is no place like this place, any place” Honest Eds.

Into Honest Eds Emporium

Well it certainly was warm inside Honest Eds Emporium. The store  would be closing in 4 weeks so there were all sorts of sales and specials going on. It was its own parade of “super duper” specials, honest sales gimmicks, Mirvish aphorisms  and touches of  nostalgia that were on display everywhere one turned.