OH SWEET INTERNET ACCESS, how I’ve missed thee.

I’m back and I’m Stumbling, though recent events are making me ever so slightly homesick for TO. Or, more specifically, the Toronto whose cultural institutions and figures have passed on in the few months I’ve been away. My heart broke to read of the end of Sam the Record Man, my former employer to whose irrelevance another, more recent, former employer greatly contributed. And today I see that Honest Ed is gone to the great discount bin in the sky.

He opened his discount emporium in 1948 at Bathurst and Bloor – the heart of Toronto’s immigrant district. His first newspaper ad read: “Our building is a dump! Our service is rotten! . . . But. . .!!! Our prices are the lowest in town!”

He once said he named his store Honest Ed’s because “it was so ridiculous. As soon as you claim to be honest, everybody gets suspicious.

And if it seems trite to call two retail stores cultural institutions, you’ve obviously never spent time in either.

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