The Canadian National Exhibition has been a late summer tradition in Toronto for 135 years. We thought it would be a good time to look back at some of the non-deep fried fun from past exhibitions.


1904 CNE

The midway in 1904 when attractions included Cora Beckwith, “Champion Lady Swimmer of the World.”

1913 CNE

The Manufacturers Building, seen here in 1913. Who else remembers being dragged away from the midway as a kid and having to check out the shops with their mother?

1914 CNE

The livestock building in 1914, always a great source of piglets, goats and other cute creatures.

1920 CNE

The Dufferin Street Gate looking wonderfully gaudy in 1920.


A view of the Gooderham Fountain, looking southeast in 1923. The photo of the Labour Day crowd was printed in the Globe and Mail with the following description: ‘In Unabated Volume Visitors Continue to Pour Through the Gates of the Canadian National Exhibition, Which Last Night Passed Far Beyond Its “Million Mark” for This Year.’

1923 CNE

Proof that everyone had more gumption in the olden days: the kids at the lost children tent (1923) look like they’re having the time of their lives.

1932 CNE

The Dufferin Street Gate looking less opulent during the Depression (1932).

1938 CNE

The International Building, seen here in 1938.

1939 CNE midway

A crowded midway in 1939.

All photos from the Toronto Public Library digital archives.

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