Around Toronto Special: CNE

by Melissa Ching August 30, 2014

Around Toronto Special: CNE


The rides look so fun, but my mother has instilled the fear in me that the bolts from these non-permanent structures will unscrew themselves at any moment, and that if I were ever so foolish as to ride one of them, I might find myself falling to my death...

The rides look so fun, but my mother has instilled the fear in me that the bolts from these non-permanent structures could unscrew themselves at any moment, and that if I were ever so foolish as to ride any of them, I might find myself falling to my death...

Affectionately called The Ex by Torontonians, the Canadian National Exhibition (a.k.a. CNE) comes to Canada once a year at the end of summer, bringing with it a slew of games, rides, shows and food...oh, the food!

Remember the lure of those huge stuffed animals beckoning you to spend an unseemly large amount of money to try and win them? They're still here! (Notice the Hello Kitty toys. Did you know that Hello Kitty is actually not a cat? Seriously. Why does it have whiskers and cat ears then?)

I haven't been to The Ex in over 10 years, and although all the buildings have since been renovated (from what I can tell), the spirit of the fair is still alive and well. The one thing that really caught my eye was the Sky Ride, which stretches from one end of the grounds all the way to the other, giving it a real feel of a county fair amusement park.


We were really hungry, so after checking out some booths at the International Pavilion, we went in search of some food and stumbled upon the food building (ok, we didn't stumble upon it. It's kind of hard to miss!) When we got in, Danny opted for the first shawarma place he saw, while I went on the hunt for my favourite Canadian guessed it...poutine! And when I saw that a stall called Canadiana offered a selection called Buffalo Soldier (classic poutine loaded with grilled bison sausage) how could I resist? I was worried that the bison would be a bit gamy, but it wasn't. There was a ton of yummy cheese curds and so much gravy that when I got to the bottom, there was still a lot left over! 


Still feeling a bit hungry, Danny got some asian inspired tacos from Far East Tacos, and although they were tasty, they were a bit expensive.


After satisfying our hunger, we went on the check out the animals at The Farm, and then walked around a bit more before heading back to the parking lot.

It's a bit sad that live ponies have been replaced by man-powered mechanical ones.

 A little piglet has passed out from a food coma. One of his siblings would later on nip on his ear and wake him up.

Although, I was pretty full, I couldn't resist buying a hot waffle ice cream sandwich at the booth with the clown heads before leaving.

 So good!

It was so fun visiting The Ex after so many years. My favourite part was the nostalgia it brought back. For me, seeing the ticket booths in front, the games booths, and the food stalls really brought back memories of my childhood. 

If you're planning to visit The Ex this weekend, then here are some tips for you!

1. If you're going to drive your car and pay $25 for parking, then you might as well park underground at The Direct Energy Centre. When you come out of the parking lot, you're already in the fairgrounds, and you can buy your entrance tickets as you're paying for parking as well. Very convenient.

2. Don't forget to bring cash as a lot of places don't accept credit or debit.

3. Bring a water bottle. There are free water refill stations to keep you hydrated throughout the day.

4. Pack a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.

5. Bring a picnic blanket so that you can just sit down and relax anytime you'd like. It would also be great for sitting on the grass to enjoy the airshow.

6. Bring your camera.

7. Enjoy yourself!


Any more suggestions?


Have fun and sleep well tonight!


We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, and one of the reasons, as determined by the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School is because: "Sleep provides an opportunity for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself." A good night's sleep can determine how you feel the next day, and if you'll have energy to do all the things you want to do. Since Danny and I enjoy doing a variety of things, including: traveling, sports, hanging out with friends, and exploring the great outdoors, so it's very important for us to get good quality sleep, and buckwheat pillows provide us with the proper support to do that!

Every now and then, we will blog about places we've visited or things we've done either in Toronto or on one of our travelling adventures. We will share tips, and give information and reviews so that you may experience such adventures yourself! 

In this special, we explored the magic that is the CNE. Hope you enjoyed it!

Melissa Ching
Melissa Ching


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