The Canon Theatre, one of Toronto’s historic theatres, has been renamed in honour of Ed Mirvish. The theatre, which has gone by different names over its 91-year history was renamed the Ed Mirvish Theatre!
Son David Mirvish led a ceremony at the Canon Theatre on Yonge Street on Tuesday morning.
“My father’s love affair with the city goes on and this is a city that takes care of its own and looks to its own and looks to the future and looks to help other people,” Mirvish said, after Mayor Rob Ford spoke at the event and declared Dec. 6, 2011, as Ed Mirvish Theatre Day.
Several prominent members of the theatre scene, including Shirley Douglas, Louise Pitre and Camilla Scott spoke and performed at the event.
Ed Mirvish died in 2007, leaving an incredible legacy of live theatre, which started when he purchased the Royal Alexandra Theatre in 1963.
The theatre opened as the Pantages in 1920 as a vaudeville house and movie theatre. It was built by the founder of Famous Players, Nathan L. Nathanson.
At the time, it was the largest theatre in the country.
In the 1930s, after financial troubles, the theatre was exclusively a movie house and was called the Imperial. The building was split into six separate movie theatres in 1973 and renamed once again and called the Imperial Six.
Famous Players lost its lease on the building in the 1980s to Cineplex Odeon, which then transformed the theatre back to its original state. Livent, then a division of Cineplex Odeon, took over the theatre and staged the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit The Phantom of the Opera in 1989, which ran for just over a decade.
The landmark changed hands again, but was finally purchased by Mirvish Productions in 2008.
Congrats to the Mirvish family! It’s a fitting tribute to Ed!