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In pictures: Lining up for a piece of Honest Ed's history

The often tacky but always authentic discount emporium was a fixture at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor for decades. On Monday March 10, hundreds of people queued up for a chance at one of the iconic store's hand-lettered red, blue, and yellow signs.

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A large crowd of people waited in line, inside and out, to have a chance to purchase some of the many hand-made signs at Honest Ed's in Toronto on March 10, 2014.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

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The iconic department store is selling off a thousand of its trademark red, blue and yellow hand-painted signs.

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The first person in line drove down from his Richmond Hill home at 4:30 in the morning. “I wanted to get a little bit of Canadiana”, Ian Price said. “Once this is gone, we won’t get another opportunity.”

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

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Even an hour after the doors opened the line still stretched around the entire downtown Toronto block which Ed's sits upon.

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Ian Price, the first person in line, remembers his parents bringing him to the store when he was just a kid. “It was a wonderland of marvels,” he said. “Everything Ed did was big and lavish.” When his parents would take him to the store’s restaurant for prime rib, he said, “there was nothing like it.”

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Every piece of signage in the store is hand-painted

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Honest Ed’s became famous for its clever marketing stunts, including free turkey giveaways at Thanksgiving or Christmas, which would attract similar lineups of Toronto families.

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David Mirvish, current owner and son of founder Ed Mirvish, signs the backs of the signs after they have been purchased by customers.

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Ed Mirvish opened the discount store in 1948, building it into a famed location, and running it for nearly 60 years, until his death in 2007 at the age of 92.

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Staff said they expect there will be another sign sale in the future. The Honest Ed’s store is expected to remain at Bloor and Bathurst for another three years.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

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Proceeds from the sales today are going to Victim Services Toronto.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

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