Friday, September 2, 2016

Let's Go To The Ex!

September 2016 - Toronto ON

John and I went to the EX, as the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is known. We have only ever gone once before shortly after we moved to Toronto 25 years ago!

You know that fall is around the corner when the EX is on!

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is Canada's largest annual community event. 

Founded in 1879, as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, the CNE has enjoyed a distinguished history as a "showcase of the nation". It was "the place" where people came to experience the latest innovations in technology and commercial products as well as performances by many of the leading artists of the time. Although the CNE has changed over the years, it continues to be one of Ontario's great annual traditions.

The CNE is currently one of the 10 largest fairs in North America, and its audience truly reflects the diversity of Toronto and the region.

We only bought general admission as we don't go on rides. You would think, it's Thursday, how packed can it be??? In 2014 the CNE attracted 1.43 million visitors.

You'll be glad, for the sake of this post, that we only touched on a quarter of the grounds. But you'll get the idea, food, more food, rides, food, displays, food, games of chance (not), food, rides, spend your money.
And if you have kids, it is lots of crying and complaining, and running people down with your cadillac sized strollers. That mantra might be eat, barf, ride repeat.

I digress, the other reason we didn't stay as long as we had planned was the sky turned ominous looking and the thought of getting caught in a downpour along with thousands as everyone scurries to get on public transit.

We hadn't had lunch so we started in the Food Building. With local restaurants serving cuisines from around the world, offering a vibrant and varied mix of international flavours and traditional fair favourites, there really is something to suit every taste and budget.

John had the snow crab fries and I had the lobster roll from Jake's Lobster.

Toronto Football Club plays soccer on the CNE grounds at BMO Stadium.I so want that green ape!

There is a bar area beside this sandy beach.

There is lots to see inside the buildings on the grounds.

These heads used to adorn the Agricultural Building and have been incorporated into a wall along the entrance to the Heritage Court.

The original walls have also been kept.

This was a very cool Canadian topiary display made from moss and twigs and such.

Bear fishing!

 Moose, eh!

The International Sand Sculpting competition took place earlier in the exhibit.

Not quite sure what you call this. But it was cool.

Adorable - called The Dream.

Horticultural displays.

A safe haven for adults a craft beer and wine bar.

The Enercare Centre, divided into different shopping sections. Pass by the Warehouse Outlets and the International Pavilion.

Canadian Armed Forces exhibit.


 We didn't make any stops at the  Home Pavilion/Shoppers Market. Talk about As Seen on TV!! Tense? Get a shiatsu session for your neck. Watch a grown man pitch you a vegetable peeler with an amount of enthusiasm typically demonstrated by cult leaders.

Now to the serious stuff of fairs!

Nope, no idea, nada.

Time to head home.


  1. I remember going to the EX in the '50s.

  2. The topiary and sand sculptures are fascinating, as are those animal heads carved on the walls.

    My parents took the older kids regularly to the Ex. If I ever went, it would have been when I was too young to remember. At some point they decided Wonderland was probably more agreeable.

  3. Definitely fun, Jackie :) :) Loved the topiary and the sand sculptures, and that guy building... whatever he was building :) Think I'll go and see what's for tea now. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I'm not crazy about crowds but it looks like tons of fun! It's HUGE!!! :-)

  5. Wow, an incredible post! Of course as an artist I was intrigued by the sculptures, the animal heads on the wall, the rock stacks (these are the highest I've ever seen!). Thank you so much for sharing this with SEASONS! Oh, not to forget, the lobster fries looked yummy! You need a few days to recuperate from all you saw here - have a relaxing week:)

  6. Hope my thank-you got through!

  7. That topiary display is awesome! I've never seen anything like that. I love sand sculptures but doing it with moss and twigs that just takes it to a whole other level.

    I would love to have a chance to see something like that!

    ~ K

  8. WOW...what a fun filled post...I just love going to this kind of thing...and having so much to see..and so much to eat...and so much fun

  9. Looks like you enjoyed this EX a lot! I liked the topiary display the BEST.

  10. Oh my days! What an awesome event! Just love all of your captures.
    And so much going on, shame we are the other side of the pond! We would have definitely gone :)

    Thanks so much for joining in with #MMBC. Hope to see you next week x

  11. Wow that's huge - it's like its own little world with all those areas plus a fair. Would be a fascinating intro to the country. #citytripping

  12. Exhibits like this make me crazy trying to see all there is to see! Looks like you tried to get it all in, too! The food, oh my, I wouldn't be able to choose what to try! Thanks for taking us along :)

  13. Such an explosion of colour and activity in these scenes. Love the dream sculpture and those funky dream chairs.

  14. I've never been, but it looks like a fun place to spend a day. All that food! Not sure I'd ever be able to decide. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

  15. That is certainly an eclectic range of activities going on in one place. Looks like fun - I can see why it's so popular. Thanks for linking #citytripping

  16. This place looks amazing! The food stalls have my tummy rumbling and I love the topiary garden that is super cool #EatSleepBlogRT

  17. Love the sand sculptures and tutus. The Ex certainly draws the crowds!

  18. Wow sounds like a fab day! I love the dream sculpture :) #EatSleepBlogRt

  19. The CNE in Toronto looks more like an event you can pass a number of days at - to take it all in! I'm surprised that you spent less than a day and covered so much ground! Thanks for sharing this on #wkendtravelinspiration

  20. That show is incredibly large. Yes, I could have spent a couple of days there.

  21. Aha, I would head straight for the craft beer and wine bar!

  22. This looks like an awesome festival with so much to see and do! I probably would have spent the majority of my day in the food building though! Seems like there were so many different amazing cuisines to choose from! I would have loved to try the snow crab fries and the Thanksgiving baked potato...... getting super hungry now! I think it's time for lunch ... :D

  23. Great shots, thanks for the lively virtual tour!
    Many thanks for joining us at the Travel Tuesday meme.


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