Honest Ed's sign to get a new lease on life at Mirvish theatre

Theatregoers in Toronto will soon come face to face with a piece of local history that once represented a new beginning for generations of newcomers to the city.

The glitzy, illuminated sign that once graced the front of the iconic Honest Ed's department store was being dismantled Tuesday, months after the store itself sold its last bargain-priced item.

The sign will be refurbished and find a new home over an entrance to the Ed Mirvish Theatre, named for the man who founded the discount store on his way to becoming one of the city's leading impresarios.

The brightly-hued sign, measuring 9.14 metres tall by 18.28 metres wide and comprised of nearly a dozen smaller placards, featured 23,000 bulbs loudly displaying the words ``Honest Ed's.''

Although the sign was installed in 1984, more than 30 years after Mirvish first opened the store known for its rock-bottom prices and occasional giveaways, it became a prominent and beloved landmark to residents and visitors alike.

Ed's son David said there was considerable public interest in preserving the sign, adding the new location will both meet that demand and offer an appropriate tribute.