The turkeys flew off the shelves at one iconic Toronto department store Sunday morning as an annual holiday tradition unfolded for the 25th time.

Beginning at 10 a.m., staff at Honest Ed’s near Bathurst and Bloor streets were kept busy handing out about 1,200 turkeys and fruit cakes to a lineup that stretched around the block.

The tradition was first started by the stores colourful founder Ed Mirvish in 1987 and has been carried on by Mirvish’s son David since his father’s death in 2007.

“It reminds of when I was seven or eight years old and I would come into the store and hide under the counters and my father would have to chase after me,” David Mirvish told CP24 Sunday morning. “It just brings back a lot of memories of good times and some struggle and growing up and being part of the city. It has really become a tradition.”

With limited supplies and a significant demand, an eager few began lining up on Friday with hundreds more staking out their spot on Saturday.

When the door’s finally opened Sunday morning, Mariano Cordeiro found himself at the head of the lineup for the third year in the row and was rewarded with his choice of turkeys, a gift basket and tickets to War Horse at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

“Thank you so much David,” Cordeiro said as he collected his bounty from David Mirvish. “I appreciate everything you have done over the years and I am sure everybody else that will come through will say the same.”

According to store officials, this year’s lineup was one of the longest they’ve ever seen.

The turkeys weighed 6,300 kilograms collectively.

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