CNE Opening Weekend Open Mike

Open MikeI worked at the CNE for three summers as a teen, so opening day always brings back a tonne of memories.

Share your Ex memories, or not... you can write about anything you want here. Rants are particularly welcome.


If you have a question, I'll drop by throughout the day to answer you. Anything goes....

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Comments (36 - click here to join in!)

Ryan G

When I was 10 or so I remember a freak-show type attraction at the Ex, which of course would no longer be permissible in our society.

It was a "fat-man" show.

I recall climbing up some stairs to look down onto this trailer-park'esque dude of sizeable carriage.

He was sitting in some kind of giant bean bag type chair, and nestled in beside him, a large bottle of coke. Perched on a dirty, cheap looking table in front of him, a tiny, late 70's era crappy tv. Twenty feet above, 20 or so people gawked at this sad display. Some tossed quarters.

Needless to say he looked quite unhappy, not unlike the Marineland walrus sucking on his own flipper in distress.

Poor bastard.

Word is that not long after that summer, that man went home to Florida, and walked slowly into a deep swamp in the everglades, and was never seen again...

(ok ok I made that last part up)

August 17, 2012 @ 9:19 AM


Ryan G beat me! I was gonna lead with "First!"

Fairs like the CNE are always a little depressing. Quite frankly, the place scares me.

August 17, 2012 @ 9:21 AM

Lyle Lanley

The CNE opening means school starts soon.

I haven't been to school in a decade but that's all I think about.

For that reason I hate the CNE.

August 17, 2012 @ 9:41 AM

Not Dean

Has the Crumble n' Debt podcast hit triple digit downloads yet?

They got awfully quite about the number of listeners didn't they?

Which number is higher: people reading this page or people listening to Humble and Fred?

No I'm Not Dean, but Humble Howard sure wishes he was.

August 17, 2012 @ 10:01 AM

4x4 Time

In the early 80's my wife and I were walking around the Ex on a Sunday night with some friends. We had went to the Jays game that afternoon, Tigers I think. Anyway, we ran into Cliff Johnson and Willie Upshaw who had obviously been visting the pubs at Ontario Place. I rememeber Cliff grabbing handfuls of my friends cotton candy and shoving it into his mouth, his whole mouth and jaw were covered.

August 17, 2012 @ 10:18 AM

4x4 Time

In Russia, Pussy Riot gets 2 years in the slammer and they announce a ban on gay pride parades for 100 years...Democracy is alive and well in Russia...

August 17, 2012 @ 10:26 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@4x4 Time

That Pussy Riot verdict is deeply disturbing.

But that Cliff Johnson story is AWESOME! I loved Cliff.

When I worked the Ex, I met Todd Stottlemyre. Oh... and the guy who played Joey Jeremiah. This excludes, of course, those I lined up to meet a the old Hockey Hall of Fame.

August 17, 2012 @ 10:30 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Not Dean

Why do you give a shit about a free podcast Humble and Fred make available to those who want to listen? If you don't like it, don't download it. It's as simple as that.

Some of us enjoy the show and are grateful they cook one up fresh each day. The internet is a wonderful thing...

If there are 10 listeners or 100,000 listeners, it won't make a difference in your life. Trust me.

August 17, 2012 @ 10:45 AM

Puggy Weaver

Women's tube tops should come back in style.Matter of fact, it should be mandatory !

August 17, 2012 @ 11:12 AM


Sorry Mike, I am going to shamlessly plug my twitter account

Come and read some of my insightful crap. me.

that is all

p.s. I worked at wonderland and met Joey Jerimiah. That little bastard got around

August 17, 2012 @ 12:29 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Shameless plug your Twitter account all you want, but get the address right. Actual address:

Oh, and follow me, too!

August 17, 2012 @ 12:52 PM


the ex won't be the same now that i can't bounce back and fourth between it and Onatario Place.

How many people actually go on rides at the ex vs. walk around see the exhibits? Its getting kind of pricey...

August 17, 2012 @ 1:24 PM



I'm not sure but i think i just saw an ad for foreign brides or an asian dating service on this site??

August 17, 2012 @ 1:29 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


That's Adsense. Google displays ads that match my content. The foreign bride / Asian dating service must be bidding on keywords I'm using.

I'm okay with it... consenting adults and all that. Everyone should click on through!

August 17, 2012 @ 1:34 PM


@Wayner. I know. Half the fun (literally) was going to Ontario Place for the first half of the day, hitting the Cinesphere and some boat riding, then heading to the Ex at night for food and skeeball.

It's going to be sad when it all becomes private condos and casinos.

August 17, 2012 @ 1:41 PM


I present to you:
The east Asian Woman on the Canadian $100 bill controversy:

I've been giggling so hard - Mike could be given a full-year chaffeured car from Ford Canada...

August 17, 2012 @ 1:49 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


That's something Rob Ford and I have in common. We don't want drivers!

But I will take the car...

August 17, 2012 @ 1:50 PM

Blind Dave


I was laughing at that story too - amazing how stupidity and pettiness can explode into ultra-sensitivity.

But look on the bright side - if we are so backward to our ethnic groups, maybe we'll be allowed to say "Merry Christmas" again soon! (except in Quebec, of course...)

August 17, 2012 @ 2:55 PM


I don't know what to be offended by here...the fact that asians are depicted as the best in science/technology or by the fact that the government thought to "fix" the problem by changing the person to a caucasion thereby neutralizing the problem brain hurts

August 17, 2012 @ 3:49 PM


Well, surprise, Grocery Gateway was good this week. They delivered everything I wanted. I never had that in a while. Now if they could do that from now on, that would be good, but they won't. I know. Anyway, I want hockey this season. Why do they have to be locked out. The season in 2004-2005 sucked because there was no hockey and it's going to happen again. I want my hockey. Why can't baseball get locked out instead. I wouldn't care if there was no baseball. It's a slow boring game. Anyway, Elvis only had two songs out that I liked, Kentucky Rain and Suspicious Minds. Otherwise don't care about Elvis. Bob Seger should be the king of rock and roll.

August 17, 2012 @ 4:07 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I just want to say how much I enjoy toast. Mmmmmm.

August 17, 2012 @ 4:29 PM

Mike from Lowville

Alas, I will not be going to the EX again this year. Since they took down the Shell Tower theres no where to meet...and get the time.....;O)

August 17, 2012 @ 4:57 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Mike from Lowville

You just dated yourself. My generation knows it as the Bulova Tower.

August 17, 2012 @ 5:01 PM


Going to the EX as a kid and then to Exhibition Stadium to watch my first ever Jays game... we sat in the bleachers in the middle of a pile of Yankees fans (because my mom didn't know any better). We bought BJ Birdie squeaky hats, giant blue #1 foam fingers, and got in fights with the aforementioned Yankees fans when it started to rain and my mom (along with about 10000 other people) put her umbrella up, and the jackoffs behind us told her they couldn't see... the rain delayed game.

Also, being in 12th grade and renting a limo to go see Def Leppard and Ugly Kid Joe with my friends.

August 17, 2012 @ 5:33 PM


So I guess no blog entries for a week with you away, Mike? Oh well, I'll survive. I won't survive without my hockey though.

August 17, 2012 @ 6:39 PM


Go Canada Go!
The boys from West Hastings look very strong.
What a run so far.

August 17, 2012 @ 9:02 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Heading to the EX tomorrow, my dad is a WW2 vet and always goes in the parade. At 86 he is one of the younger lads, and took the Jeep for the first time last year as it is a lot walking. This is a memory I will always have with me and for my kids too, seeing him walking in it.
Sad to see that Ontario Place is now closed, my son worked there 3 or 4 summers ago and we were able to buy 2 of the old huge decommissioned paddle boats and took them to my sisters cottage. My kids always liked the water park as the line ups never seemed to be as huge as Wonderland, and you had the beautiful lake as a back drop.
I guess i am a shameless plugger for H&F, all the more power to them, they have found their niche (or format) for sure.

August 17, 2012 @ 10:12 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Fear not, I'm hanging around the city until Monday morning.

August 17, 2012 @ 10:19 PM


But I guess Monday morning, you're gone for a week, right? Oh well, guess there won't be any guest blog entries. Anyway, just make sure I don't lose hockey this season. They go on strike lots. How come baseball never gets locked out anymore?

August 18, 2012 @ 8:40 AM


Rick C that is so nice for your family to see your dad walk in the parade... it must make him so proud to have his family there. I love the CNE, has so much character, I have so many memories including my dad trying to win me a giant PacMan when I was really little, and then finally paying a guy so I could have it and he could stop trying to win it. I love it all, the games, the buildings, and just walking around it. I like the "Guess Your Weight" guys. I drag my child there filled with nostalgia and I'm sure when he is older he will be like- please STOP bringing me here but I can't help it! love the ex.

August 18, 2012 @ 11:01 AM


@ Ryan G if I could suck on my own flipper I'd never leave the house...

August 19, 2012 @ 10:44 AM

Blind Dave


That's a variation of a George Carlin routine, I believe. He was talking about a dog licking itself and said if he (Carlin) could reach down there...

August 19, 2012 @ 12:43 PM


Things I love about the ex....

The Mardi Gras Parade during the late afternoon.

The walking tree....always a good Kodak moment to be had.

The petting zoo is always great fun and I especially liked the year the donkey tried to get in position to fornicate with my hubby.

I like the Super dog show.

The airshow is terrific.

My concerns about the CNE.....they need to shake up some of the exhibits and vendors as it is always the same stuff each year. Is it because we are nostalgic or because there are no new ideas but truth be told I am bored as shit by the CNE.

August 19, 2012 @ 11:01 PM

Logan Duquette

I went down to the CNE the night before it opened and they were throwing the rides together so fast.
There is no way it was safe This year what 2 people got knifed and one bomb went off. I'd say the CNE is just about done. With Wonderland a clean Amusement Park That the rides are there year round and safety check all the time not 5 minutes before the CNE opens. The fact that every year someone gets hurt on the
rides It was the swings releasing a bunch of kids a year ago. I know a vendor at the CNE for 16 years.
He went down set up his tent and stock only to be told to tear it down and leave by there manager MIKE -
FOR NO REASON HE SOLD THERE SPOT THE CNE SHOULD BE TORN DOWN my memories are of people getting hurt every year.

November 1, 2012 @ 9:17 AM


The CNE is a filthy pigpen. I can't believe people eat food at the CNE

November 1, 2012 @ 9:23 AM


Hook up the airshow with another event and close the C.N.E. I like the airshow The C.N.E. is old and run down and very smelly.

November 1, 2012 @ 9:25 AM

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