I haven’t been to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE, aka EX) since I was a kid with my parents. I remember in yester-years, there was a free day or a discounted day sponsored by certain countries and there were booths to promote their country and culture.
For the past couple of years – since I got seriously into photography – I see all these great photos of the mid-way and this year decided I wanted to see what I could get. So I called up my buddy and off we went.
I read in the paper and forums how the EX is all crowded and full of line-ups and not much to see, too expensive, etc… I also saw the special for $5 after 5 PM on the weekdays (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) before the closing weekend.
I personally was impressed for what you get for $5. I saw a horse show with dancers (no salsa though),
an acrobatic fireworks show,
I missed the water escape show and the 6 PM daily parade but all this was included in the $5. Even at the full price of $14, I would have gone to see all these things. There were people there but no big line-ups for the shows on the nights I was there. I guess if you wait till the Labour Day weekend – it will be crowded.
I debated about driving and paying for the underground parking on the grounds or taking the TTC. Because of the gear I lugged with me - I ended up driving but parking about 10-15 minute walk away from the main gates. During the long walk with all the gear I seriously regretted not parking underground even if it was $20 parking. However, it all worked out when I left and saw the traffic jam of cars trying to get out of the parking lot and the people lined-up for the TTC street cars at closing time. It was faster for me to walk to my car which was just far enough away to avoid the traffic jams and parking was cheap too - $4 only.