What is the CNE?
The Canadian National Exhibition otherwise known as the EX is a must do event in the city. It has been around since 1879! It was set up to promote and develop Canadian agriculture, industry and arts. It has been growing, changing and expanding year after year. It truly is an awesome experience today and as exciting as ever. The people who attend are from all different cultures and backgrounds, the vendors also are so ethnic. You can experience the diversity of Toronto simply by checking out the CNE. It is family friendly, a place for teens, young adults and old to enjoy good food and fun.
I have been lucky to have gone almost every year since I was a young child. My personal favourite thing to do is check out the creative talent. I love watching people in the arts passionate about what they are doing and the CNE has always provided a platform for that. The Rising Star completion goes on throughout the whole festival. It has been a favourite of our family to go on the last day to see the finalists, always exhibiting amazing talent.
This year I went with my parents for my mother’s birthday. Once through the gates we were given an itinerary for all the events on that day. It was laid out in a timetable format, so you could easily compare what time events were going on and when you wanted to check them out. The itinerary changes day to day depending on what shows and events are going on. Some acts happen everyday and some may only appear once. Of course the food building, craft building, vendors, rides and games are the same everyday. It’s best to check out the CNE website. They provide all the necessary information about what’s going on, how to get there and any other questions you may have.
Our first stop was the food building. This is by far my one of my favourite things to check out every year but I was concerned coming this year as I now eat a vegan diet. I didn’t want to be stuck to eating a salad or french fries. Around the food buying they have maps with all the food vendors and to my surprise, this map also listed all the alternate diet options. Specifying which vendors are halal, vegan, vegetarian, nut free, gluten free, dairy free and healthy.
I went for Tacos from Taqueria Burrito Bar. They were so good. Three tacos came on a warmed corn tortillas filled with beans, rice, tomatoes, lettuce, salsa and guacamole (which was free if getting vegetable based meal).
We then checked out the Super Dog show. It has been around for 40 years, traveling and entertaining people across North America. The dogs were impressive, tricks obstacle courses and games are all apart of their act. If you love animals this is something that I would recommend.
Next we wandered around the games and around the CNE grounds. My mom and dad wanted to see the live cooking show with chef Michael Smith and I wanted to get some pictures of the colour rides and games around the grounds. I also grabbed a mango peach smoothie, it was delicious.
We met back up and checked out the CNE Innovation Garage. Which I think was my favourite thing this year. It is a place where young inventors are able to showcase products, services and more. More than one had an invention modelled around coding making it easy for kids and adults alike.
After we decided to go on the gondola over the grounds. This is a great ride to give you a good view of the CNE grounds and people and is about 12 minutes. Out of all the rides this is definitely the one to check out, I think it has taken place of the Ferris wheel. It not only gives you good height but also distance across the CNE grounds.
Finally we wandered over to the Band Shell to get spots for the evening performance. We saw Jane’s Party who we saw the week before at Taste of The Danforth (a food festival also in Toronto), then the Sam Roberts Band, who play around the world.
The day always ends, walking to the GO station platform, absolutely exhausted after a fun day.