David Mirvish told CBC News on Monday he's confident the new owner of Honest Ed's — Vancouver-based developer Westbank Properties — will respect the Annex neighourhood where the discount store has become a much-loved icon.
Mirvish spoke to CBC News about the sale on Monday and said that while he doesn't know what the purchaser has planned for the site, he's confident they will keep the neighourhood's best interests at heart.
Westbank calls itself Canada's "leading luxury residential developer. The company developed the Shangri-La hotels in Toronto and Vancouver.
"They have a wonderful history and track record and have done some very fine buildings," Mirvish told CBC's Trevor Dunn. "I believe that they're people who are sensitive and interested in being an important part of the Toronto community and therefore will deal with this property in a very respectful way for the neighbourhood and the city."
The deal for Honest Ed's will close later this year.
Discount has become a Toronto landmark
David's father, the late Edwin (Honest Ed) Mirvish, founded the store on the corner of Bloor and Bathurst streets in 1948. The store is famous for its large marquee dotted with thousands of lights and pun-heavy signs that trumpet the deals available inside.
David Mirvish said Westbank will rent the site and surrounding properties back to him for up to three years, while the company decides what to do with the 1.8-hectare parcel.
Mirvish said many of the Honest Ed's traditions, such as the store's Christmas turkey giveaway, will continue for the next few years.
The financial details of the sale were not disclosed, but there were reports prior to the sale that the asking price was $100 million. David Mirvish would not disclose the price when asked about it by CBC News on Monday.
"My father used to say that talking about money is crass," he said.
"I'm looking toward the future. I believe this is a positive step for the Bloor and Bathurst neighbourhood."
CBC news contacted Westbank Properties but a spokesperson said it would be premature to comment at this time.
Mirvish will be renting the property from new owner for "several years", during which Honest Ed's will operate as usual #cbcto— Trevor Dunn (@trevorjdunn) October 28, 2013
Mirvish says Westbank will be sensitive to Bloor/Bathurst community but he doesn't know what buyer plans to do with Honest Ed's #cbcto— Trevor Dunn (@trevorjdunn) October 28, 2013