The Annual Summer’s End Tradition
The Canadian National Exhibition is a great Annual tradition in Toronto. For 18 days leading up to and including Labor Day, it marks the end of summer, a ritual that is embraced by many generations.
Founded in 1879, it was then called the Toronto Industrial Exhibition as it fostered the development of agriculture, industry and the arts.
By 1912, the fairgrounds had expanded to 350 acres and included amusement parks as well as permanent exhibition facilities. The name changed to the Canadian National Exhibition, as it had by then become a showcase of the nation, where people congregated to experience the newest and the best innovations not only in agriculture but also in technology and commercial products, saying nothing of the entertainment.
|Warriors Day Parade, 1937|
Enriched by the diversity, the CNE has gone on to becoming Canada’s largest community event as well as one of the top 10 agricultural fairs in North America. In the CNE there is always something for everyone, since it features a wide variety of visceral and sensory experiences that transcend language, gender and age. Here’s but a few samples: There is the Veteran’s Parade, the Mardi Gras Parade and the Rib-fest. The Band shell provides free performances by many celebrities. The varied cuisine of the Food Building is also there to satisfy all palates and, for those seeking excitement, there is the CNE midway with its thrilling rides, games and side shows.
With approximately 1.4 million and more people visiting the CNE, many corporate sponsors, Canadian and international businesses and exhibitors, participate in the CNE. It always offered companies an excellent venue in which to sell their products and connect with people on a one to one basis.
In 2014 the findings of Economic Impact Assessment, conducted by Enigma Research Corporation, reported that the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) generates an estimated $69.3 million for Greater Toronto Area and more than $102.3 million for the province of Ontario each year.
Nevertheless, with the land being situated on a highly prized piece of real estate, the future of CNE may be in jeopardy. Already several structures and parcels of land have been leased by the entertainment industry or taken over by corporations intent on building hotels and other such development.
Here’s the latest development: “In April 2013, the CNEA became organizationally independent from Exhibition Place and the City of Toronto. In the years ranging from 1983 to March 2013, the CNEA maintained its status as an Agricultural Society and was also a program of Exhibition Place, a board of management of the City of Toronto. During this time, all CNEA surpluses and deficits were absorbed by Exhibition Place and the City of Toronto. The CNEA is financially stable and is not dependent on government subsidy. The Association’s new independent status enables it to retain the revenues it generates and to reinvest them in the Canadian National Exhibition.”
One only hopes this great tradition of CNE persists and continues to enrich the lives of future generations at its original site.
CNE in 2015
Hope you all had a great summer!