The Canadian National Exhibition

The CNE is an annual Toronto tradition that unofficially marks the end of summer. Taking place on Exhibition Place along the city’s waterfront, the event spans 18 days up to Labour Day Monday and is Canada’s largest fair. The first Canadian National Exhibition took place in 1879 and was originally intended to showcase agriculture and technology to the general public.

Despite changing over the years to reflect modern trends, the CNE still retains some of its traditional roots with a mixture of pavilions, exhibitions, shows, and concerts. There is a working farm, horse show, and casino on the premises. The annual Canadian International Air Show, the country’s oldest,  is also held at The Ex on the last three days of the event. However, the most popular by far is the carnival midway with its rides and games, and of course the food. Every year the vendors come up with the most outrageous new offerings in addition to the traditional carnival fare.

Some friends and I paid a visit on opening day when, thankfully, tickets are more reasonably priced. The Ex is at its prettiest in the evening when the midway rides light up the night sky.

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