Sunday, July 28, 2019
The idea for a walk of fame originated in 1996 as a Toronto Walk of Fame. It got started in 1998 with the first batch of inductees. Since then a new group has been added every year and the names are displayed along King Street and Simcoe Street. Stars honour Canadians in the areas of Arts and Entertainment, Business, Philanthropy, Science and Technology as well as Sports and Athletics. The plaque below was placed to honour the start of our Walk of Fame. It is placed in front of the main entrance to the Royal Alexandra Theatre.
Ed Mirvish has a star right in front of the Royal Alexandria Theater. It is the only one that is dated and it says July 10, 1996. This is the date the walk of fame was conceived and a full two years before the first group of inductees were celebrated in 1998. Edwin Mirvish was also known as “Honest Ed” and one of his accomplishments was the development of Honest Ed’s discount store. Ed passed away in 2007 but the star that commemorates him is set directly in front of the Royal Alexandra Theatre.
The Royal Alexandra theatre was built in 1907 and has been owned and operated by Ed Mirvish since 1963. It s named after a Danish Princess who was the great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. It was given the Letters Patent by King Edward VII giving it an official Royal designation. It s believed to be the only surviving Royal theatre in North America.
Rush are Canada’s most successful band when it comes to international sales. They stand third behind The Beatles and Rolling Stones for the most Gold and Platinum album designations.
Joni Mitchell is considered to be one of the best singer-songwriters to come out of Canada. Her 1971 album Blue is the highest rated album by a female artist on the Billboard Top Albums of All Time coming in at number 30.
The Guess Who were inducted in 2001 and their star names five of the forty people who have played in the band since it was formed in 1965. Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, Gary Peterson, Donnie McDougal and Bill Wallace were in the band in 2001, doing a series of reunion shows. The irony is that the five of them never played together in the band prior to the reunion. This lineup played before an estimated 450,000 crowd at the Toronto Sars Benefit Concert on July 30, 2003.
Canada’s Walk of Fame is intended to give us our own version of the one in Hollywood and several of our stars are found in both places. The stars in the Canadian walk are all damaged around the edges and several have been cracked or broken. Our stars are subject to the extremes of Canadian weather. They are salted in the winter and then run over and scraped by the sidewalk plows. Some of the stars have already been replaced and many more are in need of repairs. There is talk of finding an alternative method of displaying them, perhaps mounted in a wall along the sidewalk where they would be up and out of the way.
There are currently 173 stars in the Canadian Walk of Fame with new inductees being added in November.
Google Maps Link: Royal Alexandria Theatre
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