End of the line for Ends

News Aug 09, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

Business was brisk on a recent Friday afternoon at the Ends discount emporium at the corner of Queen Street East and Elmer Avenue in the Beach.

A steady stream of customers picked through racks, bins, and boxes of goods to find the perfect bargain before it’s too late.  

A fixture in the Beach neighbourhood since 1982, Ends will be closing its doors for good on Tuesday, August 15.   

Long-time customer Peter Greenfield called it the “end of an era.” The life-long Beach resident said he’s been shopping there his whole life.

“I grew up in the Beach so this place has basically been here since I was born,” Greenfield said.

“The prices are great. Eight bucks for a pair of shorts. You can’t go wrong.”

Aspen, Colorado resident Tina Taylor was visiting a friend in the area and dropped into Ends.

“There’s some great stuff here,” said Taylor, who held several pieces of clothing in her arms.

“It’s like a treasure hunt and I found my treasure. I think I scored.”

Harold Weisfeld or Zoltzz as he’s better known, recently sold the building and three nearby properties. The deal officially closes at the end of the month.

Together with his staff, he’ll have 15 days to empty out the store, which is literally filled to the brim with clothing, accessories, linens, hats, you name it.

“The stuff I can’t get rid of, I’ll probably donate to charity,” Weisfeld said during a recent interview at the store.

He was coy about what the future holds for the highly desirable Beach corner.   

“I hear they’re making a massage parlour,” he smiled.

“I’m not too sure. They’re not building.”

Weisfeld, who quit high school in Grade 11, said he never intended to get into the retail business.

Many moons ago when he was 26 years old and “making an OK living” as an artist creating unique wooden sculptures, Weisfeld said his folks sat him down one Friday evening and asked what he was going to do with his life.

“I told them one thing, I’d never ever, ever, ever get into retail,” he laughed during a recent interview at his Beach location.

In the fall of 1982, Weisfeld’s life took that exact direction when a friend approached him about temporarily renting a storefront on Bloor Street West near Bathurst Street until the building’s new owner took possession.

Initially, he figured he’d continue running a fruit market there like the previous tenant but that owner took the fridge leaving him to quickly come up with Plan B.

Never one to run from a challenge, Weisfeld called up friends Bill Foley and Joel Halpert, who both ran dry cleaning businesses, and offered to buy any clothing that had not been picked up at “cleaning cost.” Another friend’s father was a retired tailor and Weisfeld hired him to remove the collars of dress shirts to create mandarin style tops.

Weisfeld called his venture Ends and figured he’d ride on the coat tails of Honest Ed’s.    

As things progressed, he started purchasing good quality used clothing from the Salvation Army and reselling it. At that time, the rag dealers were more interested in buying vintage pieces, so there was a lot of decent newer pieces to choose from.

Before long, the enterprising entrepreneur got into new stock.

“I’d buy deals on clothing, leftovers, credit cancellations. It could be anything,” said Weisfeld, who said he decided to come to the Beach 35 years ago because he felt customers in the area would be open to good deals for less.

“I brought Spadina Avenue here. My goal was to make it sloppy but good quality and at a stupid price and it took off,” he said.

Weisfeld said the tide started to change drastically about three years ago with the advent of Amazon and other online shopping sites.

“People weren’t buying goods like before, especially good quality ones,” he said.

“I didn’t want to lose out or take a loss, so I decided it was time for a new chapter.”

Weisfeld’s decision was solidified about nine months ago with the selling of the building that housed his Beach location.

Reflecting on the past 35 years, he said one of the best parts of running a retail business has been all of the amazing people he’s met, including some great employees notably David Dos Ramos, who only recently left after 33 years of service.

Another staff member is Trevor Rudd, who works at the Beach location and has only one missed one day of work in 13 years.

“He’s the best,” said Weisfeld, who said he’s working to help Rudd find another job once Ends closes.

“We’re trying to figure something out.”

As for Rudd, he said working at Ends has been like a family for him.

“It’s lots of fun. I enjoy the atmosphere and people are nice,” said the life-long Beach resident.

Weisfeld also owns a building at Avenue and Davenport roads. On the ground floor is another Ends location run by his wife Sharon. The couple live above the store, which they’re looking to eventually rent out.

“We want to find the right tenant,” said Weisfeld, who lived in the Beach for 25 years but moved to Yorkville about 12 years ago.

For now, he said he plans on taking it easy for about six months and hopes to travel down south. He’ll also have more time now for making art, specifically drawing and sculpting.

“I just want to thank (the Beach community) so much for giving me my dignity, for allowing me to make a good living for my family and myself,” he said.

End of the line for Ends

Discount emporium closes its doors after 35 years in the Beach

News Aug 09, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

Business was brisk on a recent Friday afternoon at the Ends discount emporium at the corner of Queen Street East and Elmer Avenue in the Beach.

A steady stream of customers picked through racks, bins, and boxes of goods to find the perfect bargain before it’s too late.  

A fixture in the Beach neighbourhood since 1982, Ends will be closing its doors for good on Tuesday, August 15.   

Long-time customer Peter Greenfield called it the “end of an era.” The life-long Beach resident said he’s been shopping there his whole life.

“I grew up in the Beach so this place has basically been here since I was born,” Greenfield said.

“The prices are great. Eight bucks for a pair of shorts. You can’t go wrong.”

Aspen, Colorado resident Tina Taylor was visiting a friend in the area and dropped into Ends.

“There’s some great stuff here,” said Taylor, who held several pieces of clothing in her arms.

“It’s like a treasure hunt and I found my treasure. I think I scored.”

Harold Weisfeld or Zoltzz as he’s better known, recently sold the building and three nearby properties. The deal officially closes at the end of the month.

Together with his staff, he’ll have 15 days to empty out the store, which is literally filled to the brim with clothing, accessories, linens, hats, you name it.

“The stuff I can’t get rid of, I’ll probably donate to charity,” Weisfeld said during a recent interview at the store.

He was coy about what the future holds for the highly desirable Beach corner.   

“I hear they’re making a massage parlour,” he smiled.

“I’m not too sure. They’re not building.”

Weisfeld, who quit high school in Grade 11, said he never intended to get into the retail business.

Many moons ago when he was 26 years old and “making an OK living” as an artist creating unique wooden sculptures, Weisfeld said his folks sat him down one Friday evening and asked what he was going to do with his life.

“I told them one thing, I’d never ever, ever, ever get into retail,” he laughed during a recent interview at his Beach location.

In the fall of 1982, Weisfeld’s life took that exact direction when a friend approached him about temporarily renting a storefront on Bloor Street West near Bathurst Street until the building’s new owner took possession.

Initially, he figured he’d continue running a fruit market there like the previous tenant but that owner took the fridge leaving him to quickly come up with Plan B.

Never one to run from a challenge, Weisfeld called up friends Bill Foley and Joel Halpert, who both ran dry cleaning businesses, and offered to buy any clothing that had not been picked up at “cleaning cost.” Another friend’s father was a retired tailor and Weisfeld hired him to remove the collars of dress shirts to create mandarin style tops.

Weisfeld called his venture Ends and figured he’d ride on the coat tails of Honest Ed’s.    

As things progressed, he started purchasing good quality used clothing from the Salvation Army and reselling it. At that time, the rag dealers were more interested in buying vintage pieces, so there was a lot of decent newer pieces to choose from.

Before long, the enterprising entrepreneur got into new stock.

“I’d buy deals on clothing, leftovers, credit cancellations. It could be anything,” said Weisfeld, who said he decided to come to the Beach 35 years ago because he felt customers in the area would be open to good deals for less.

“I brought Spadina Avenue here. My goal was to make it sloppy but good quality and at a stupid price and it took off,” he said.

Weisfeld said the tide started to change drastically about three years ago with the advent of Amazon and other online shopping sites.

“People weren’t buying goods like before, especially good quality ones,” he said.

“I didn’t want to lose out or take a loss, so I decided it was time for a new chapter.”

Weisfeld’s decision was solidified about nine months ago with the selling of the building that housed his Beach location.

Reflecting on the past 35 years, he said one of the best parts of running a retail business has been all of the amazing people he’s met, including some great employees notably David Dos Ramos, who only recently left after 33 years of service.

Another staff member is Trevor Rudd, who works at the Beach location and has only one missed one day of work in 13 years.

“He’s the best,” said Weisfeld, who said he’s working to help Rudd find another job once Ends closes.

“We’re trying to figure something out.”

As for Rudd, he said working at Ends has been like a family for him.

“It’s lots of fun. I enjoy the atmosphere and people are nice,” said the life-long Beach resident.

Weisfeld also owns a building at Avenue and Davenport roads. On the ground floor is another Ends location run by his wife Sharon. The couple live above the store, which they’re looking to eventually rent out.

“We want to find the right tenant,” said Weisfeld, who lived in the Beach for 25 years but moved to Yorkville about 12 years ago.

For now, he said he plans on taking it easy for about six months and hopes to travel down south. He’ll also have more time now for making art, specifically drawing and sculpting.

“I just want to thank (the Beach community) so much for giving me my dignity, for allowing me to make a good living for my family and myself,” he said.

End of the line for Ends

Discount emporium closes its doors after 35 years in the Beach

News Aug 09, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

Business was brisk on a recent Friday afternoon at the Ends discount emporium at the corner of Queen Street East and Elmer Avenue in the Beach.

A steady stream of customers picked through racks, bins, and boxes of goods to find the perfect bargain before it’s too late.  

A fixture in the Beach neighbourhood since 1982, Ends will be closing its doors for good on Tuesday, August 15.   

Long-time customer Peter Greenfield called it the “end of an era.” The life-long Beach resident said he’s been shopping there his whole life.

“I grew up in the Beach so this place has basically been here since I was born,” Greenfield said.

“The prices are great. Eight bucks for a pair of shorts. You can’t go wrong.”

Aspen, Colorado resident Tina Taylor was visiting a friend in the area and dropped into Ends.

“There’s some great stuff here,” said Taylor, who held several pieces of clothing in her arms.

“It’s like a treasure hunt and I found my treasure. I think I scored.”

Harold Weisfeld or Zoltzz as he’s better known, recently sold the building and three nearby properties. The deal officially closes at the end of the month.

Together with his staff, he’ll have 15 days to empty out the store, which is literally filled to the brim with clothing, accessories, linens, hats, you name it.

“The stuff I can’t get rid of, I’ll probably donate to charity,” Weisfeld said during a recent interview at the store.

He was coy about what the future holds for the highly desirable Beach corner.   

“I hear they’re making a massage parlour,” he smiled.

“I’m not too sure. They’re not building.”

Weisfeld, who quit high school in Grade 11, said he never intended to get into the retail business.

Many moons ago when he was 26 years old and “making an OK living” as an artist creating unique wooden sculptures, Weisfeld said his folks sat him down one Friday evening and asked what he was going to do with his life.

“I told them one thing, I’d never ever, ever, ever get into retail,” he laughed during a recent interview at his Beach location.

In the fall of 1982, Weisfeld’s life took that exact direction when a friend approached him about temporarily renting a storefront on Bloor Street West near Bathurst Street until the building’s new owner took possession.

Initially, he figured he’d continue running a fruit market there like the previous tenant but that owner took the fridge leaving him to quickly come up with Plan B.

Never one to run from a challenge, Weisfeld called up friends Bill Foley and Joel Halpert, who both ran dry cleaning businesses, and offered to buy any clothing that had not been picked up at “cleaning cost.” Another friend’s father was a retired tailor and Weisfeld hired him to remove the collars of dress shirts to create mandarin style tops.

Weisfeld called his venture Ends and figured he’d ride on the coat tails of Honest Ed’s.    

As things progressed, he started purchasing good quality used clothing from the Salvation Army and reselling it. At that time, the rag dealers were more interested in buying vintage pieces, so there was a lot of decent newer pieces to choose from.

Before long, the enterprising entrepreneur got into new stock.

“I’d buy deals on clothing, leftovers, credit cancellations. It could be anything,” said Weisfeld, who said he decided to come to the Beach 35 years ago because he felt customers in the area would be open to good deals for less.

“I brought Spadina Avenue here. My goal was to make it sloppy but good quality and at a stupid price and it took off,” he said.

Weisfeld said the tide started to change drastically about three years ago with the advent of Amazon and other online shopping sites.

“People weren’t buying goods like before, especially good quality ones,” he said.

“I didn’t want to lose out or take a loss, so I decided it was time for a new chapter.”

Weisfeld’s decision was solidified about nine months ago with the selling of the building that housed his Beach location.

Reflecting on the past 35 years, he said one of the best parts of running a retail business has been all of the amazing people he’s met, including some great employees notably David Dos Ramos, who only recently left after 33 years of service.

Another staff member is Trevor Rudd, who works at the Beach location and has only one missed one day of work in 13 years.

“He’s the best,” said Weisfeld, who said he’s working to help Rudd find another job once Ends closes.

“We’re trying to figure something out.”

As for Rudd, he said working at Ends has been like a family for him.

“It’s lots of fun. I enjoy the atmosphere and people are nice,” said the life-long Beach resident.

Weisfeld also owns a building at Avenue and Davenport roads. On the ground floor is another Ends location run by his wife Sharon. The couple live above the store, which they’re looking to eventually rent out.

“We want to find the right tenant,” said Weisfeld, who lived in the Beach for 25 years but moved to Yorkville about 12 years ago.

For now, he said he plans on taking it easy for about six months and hopes to travel down south. He’ll also have more time now for making art, specifically drawing and sculpting.

“I just want to thank (the Beach community) so much for giving me my dignity, for allowing me to make a good living for my family and myself,” he said.