Toronto's most loved attraction for summer is the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). In August as the weather gets cooler and back to school shopping starts, Toronto waits patiently for the Canadian National Exhibition to open.
Admission to CNE
And who can blame them? For an admissions price of around $12 (not including the ride bracelet), you can walk around this huge playground and be a kid all over again.
Amusement Park Rides
The amusement park rides are of carnival quality, which for some might add to the thrill along with haunted houses, fun houses, rollercoaster's and more of the old favourites.
This is just the beginning though, for as you walk past the rides you enter the game zone. The jumbo stuffed game winning prize animals are only half the fun. The other great part about the game zone area is the Tiny Tom Donut carts scattered throughout offering a treat for young and old alike.
If you don't have much of a sweet tooth, do not fret. When you make your way to the Exhibition Place buildings, the unmistakable smell of glorious (some deep fried) food hits your nose. They have booths covering the entire warehouse floor of different foods including Chinese, Greek, Mexican, Japanese, and Hungarian for starters. If it's a good old-fashioned hot dog or hamburger and fries you are craving, you can be sure it will be the best meal you have ever eaten.
CNE Shows and Exhibits
Since you should already be at the Exhibition Place buildings at this point, the shows and exhibits they offer during the Toronto Canadian National Exhibit are fantastic. In one building, there are vendors selling goods from around the world. In another building they put on shows for entertainment, and if you are lucky you will be just in time for the dog show!
History of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)
Every year since 1878, Toronto has celebrated the end of summer with rides, games, fried foods and exhibits at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE).
In 1878, Toronto decided to hold a fair. Amazingly, it attracted over 100,000 visitors, and the people of Toronto decided to hold it every year as a tradition. From that date forth, at the end of every summer, Toronto has held the CNE. Every year more and more people arrive in August to enjoy the rides, play the games, and watch the shows at the largest Toronto summer festival.
It's located on the shore of Lake Ontario, in what previously was referred to as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition. It is now named the Exhibition Place, offering its large space to many different events and festivals in Toronto throughout the year. The name Exhibition Place was given in honour of the Canadian National Exhibition.
During the CNE (which is always held mid-August to Labour Day) the Exhibition Place extends an amazing 260 acres, including parking lots and parks in the area. Due to the major increase of attendees over the years, the Exhibition Place has had to push its boundaries further and further almost every year. The latest average number of visitors to the CNE is estimated at 1.3 million attendees.
The Canadian National Exhibit wasn't always at this state of perfection. At the start of World War 2, the Department of National Defence removed the grounds for the Exhibition Place from civilian administrators. What once was a joyful, magical place in the Toronto summer of 1942 to 1946 became the training field for the military.
By 1947, Toronto was overjoyed to hear that their beloved CNE would be returning . Staying true to tradition, the Canadian National Exhibition boomed back to life in an explosion of Tiny Tom donuts, popcorn and performances!
Every year since, Toronto has seen hundreds of thousands of visitors and effectively making the Canadian National Exhibit the largest fair in Canada. It has also brought a new level of sustainability to Toronto, offering jobs to locals during the exhibition times and bringing in $48 million in profits.
From one smart decision back in 1878, the CNE became something more than your typical city fair and became a tradition one can look forward to all year. If you ask the average Torontonian "what is the best part of Toronto summers", they will probably say the Canadian National Exhibition.
Make sure you get a chance to be part of the celebrations and fun this year. Visit the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) and make memories that will last a lifetime.