At the Ex: Past, Present and Virtual
The smell of cotton candy, Tiny Tom donuts fresh off the conveyor, the roar of the Snowbirds overhead, the city and the lake spreading out below you from the top of the ferris wheel—you can get it at the Ex, the CNE, the Canadian National Exhibition. This year’s fair starts on August 17—the 134th annual exhibition to take place on the lakeshore grounds.
The 1879 exhibition boasted a “Competition open to the world--$20,000 in prizes” and the 2012 fair offers the new CNE Sky Ride, the NITRO rollercoaster and the 250th anniversary of the sandwich. In between came the Lumiere Brothers' Cinematographe in 1898, the latest in racing cars, the Prince of Wales, the Food Building (built in the 20s and rebuilt in the 50s), and the giant commercial trade shows of the new century.
Photo: CNE Media
The Ex has always had special places for kids--for fun, for thrills and just to get lost.
Use the virtual tour and the interactive CNE map to plan your visit--or use the library's 1974 edition to relive the mid-twentieth century. Read more history in The Romance of the Canadian National Exhibition (1936), The Ex: a picture history of the Canadian National Exhibition (1973) or Once upon a century: 100 year history of the "Ex" (1978).
The past is still present at the CNE, and not just in old photos. Take the Haunted CNE walking tour, and hear author and paranormal researcher Richard Palmisano tell the stories of the ghosts who inhabit the grounds. Read all the details in his 2011 book.
Just go to the Ex--