Have to love the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), many fun memories as a child, teenager and now as an adult. Crazy to think the CNE has been going for 133 years! I can only imagine what it looked like back then.
According to the CNE fact sheet:
- Approximately 1.3 million attendance, largest fair in Canada, 8thlargest in North America.
- Has evolved and changed over time; emphasis has shifted from exhibits to entertainment and interactive experiences.
- Self-funded, the CNE is a major economic generator for the province of Ontario
- CNE is financially stable and operates without any annual subsidy.
- An Economic Impact Study conducted by Enigma Research Corporation in 2009, reported that the CNE had a gross economic impact of $58.6 million on the Greater Toronto Area and $80 million on the province of Ontario.
- CNE is a provincially chartered, non-profit agricultural society.
- CNE is EcoLogo certified making it the Greenest Fair in North America
Pretty impressive stats for an exhibition. I’d have to say the main attraction for a lot of people I know is the Food Building. Incredibly packed with food from all over the world, but only ONE raw vegan booth called Vie. Vie was the only guaranteed vegan and gluten free place we could eat and frankly after trying the tacos, I didn’t want to try anywhere else.
We spoke to the booth owner who explained he was being supplied by St. Lawrence market’s Cruda Cafe. The tacos were comprised of a dehydrated corn soft taco shell, a sour cream, corn, avocado, shredded lettuce, tomato, and magical spices that all really worked. We were incredibly pleased and impressed. Had to try the desserts, two chocolate and one key lime, had to stop myself from eating more. The entire meal was incredibly delicious, filling and had me wondering what else could be created.
We walked around and took a few pictures, but couldn’t photograph everything, just a heck of a lot going on.
The animal section was the saddest part for me. I hated seeing: chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, sheep ostrich, llamas, alpacas cooped up. Like this is what they want to do for two weeks. I realize this is probably the only time some city children will see live farm animals, but that’s what animal sanctuaries are for. I saw a turkey fighting with another, the bigger one was pulling the other’s gullet. I hit the plastic window a few times to try to startle them to stop, but that didn’t work. The attendant wasn’t there and I told the information booth what happened. I have no idea if my information was relayed, but I’m going to be optimistic.
This is a sign in the Food Building. I am very impressed that the different food options were displayed so clearly.
Here’s where our glorious meal at Vie started:
As we are slaves to our devices, we were glad to see there was a free phone charging box with clear markings which cable worked with what phone. Pretty cool to be able to charge your phone while at an event as such.
This is the newest addition to the CNE, according to the Wiki: Sky Ride, a cable car ride introduced at the 2012 CNE in the spirit of the Alpine Way.
It was a sun screen kind of day and a great way to spend the time if you’re into rides and eating all day. Why not? There are vegan options and one for sure gluten free vegan option. Not sure if Vie is coming back next year, but they certainly have my vote versus the rest of the food.