A Great Day at The Ex: Three Reasons Why

CNEI'm back from a great day at the CNE. I've written extensively about my three summers working at the Canadian National Exhibition as a teenager, so when I join the family for a trip to the Ex now it's really for three reasons.

The Sights, Sounds and Smells
I love walking the midway, hearing the carny calls, the music, the bells, the whistles and screams. There's a distinctive sound to the CNE midway that takes me back and I love immersing myself in it. Joining that Ex sound is that Ex smell. The waffles and corn dogs and cotton candy melts together to form this distinctive syrupy sweet CNE odour. You know it when you smell it, and it too takes me back. Then, to complete this smörgåsbord of senses, there are all those colours and blinking lights and flash. I can walk the CNE midway for hours without feeling the slightest impulse to play a game or go on a ride. I just like being there.


The Canadian International Air Show
I've always loved the air show. I loved it as a kid and I love it today. I've got my kids loving it too, so we park ourselves at the bleachers by the lake around noon and soak in the aviation excitement. This year's show was spectacular as usual as we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Canadian International Air Show and the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada.


The Food Building
Nothing is better than heading to the Food Building after the Air Show. There's so much tasty goodness in that building and some pretty sweet deals. My mom can never resist the 99¢ spaghetti, my daughter scored a $1.50 jumbo hot dog, my wife made two trips to the pierogi place and my son and I went for ribs. The Food Building is a key part of any visit to the Ex.


That's all I need. I don't need the rides, games or exhibits. I like the walk, the ambiance, the air show and the Food Building. And once a summer is frequent enough.

Here's my photoset from today's visit. I'm beat.

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Comments (9 - click here to join in!)


Just got home as well....could not have said it better..daughter loved it even more!!!!

September 5, 2009 @ 8:58 PM


I'm heading in tomorrow with my girlfriend. The general rule is this: when we get there, we hit the food building, I get me my Tiny Tom's Doughnuts, and then she's allowed to hit anything she wants... the doughnuts make me happy enough :)

September 5, 2009 @ 9:26 PM


Should have bought a razor before you went.

September 5, 2009 @ 9:33 PM

Ajax Mike

Isn't that 5 reasons? :)

September 5, 2009 @ 9:50 PM

Toronto Mike

Here's how the math works:
Sights + Sounds + Smells = Ambiance.

Ambiance + Air Show + Food Building = 3.

As for the razor, the facial hair stays until my RSPA Slo-Pitch final on Friday.

September 6, 2009 @ 9:12 AM


Lovely pics, Mike. A ferris wheel is one of my favourite things in the whole wide world. I love their symbolism.

September 6, 2009 @ 4:59 PM


must have missed each other...I also enjoy being there and touring the exhibits...of course with kids you have to make time for games and rides and the always infamous "my feet hurt"...

September 8, 2009 @ 8:07 AM


All I want to know is, when did that guy finally quit droning "Doggie, doggie" into the midway PA system? He was legend in the early-to-mid 80s...

September 8, 2009 @ 2:36 PM

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